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Hail to thee, our alma mater

Friday was the first time I’ve been to a football game at my high school since I graduated in 2008.

Sometimes it seems like graduation was “just yesterday,” but sheesh, that was 14 years ago. I’m sort of ashamed it took me that long to make it back to the White County High School stadium for some Warrior football – and in some ways it felt like the very first time.

I attended every single football game when I was in high school, home and away – as a member of the marching band. Truth be told, I didn’t care too much about the football itself. I was there for the halftime show, for the stands tunes, for the fight song.

It wasn’t until college that I learned to truly appreciate the game of football for its own merits, and this weekend, I finally got a chance to take that mentality back home to Sparta, Tenn.

The White County Warriors played the Hawks of Green Hill, and they took the night 21-20.

It was a crisp fall night, perfect for football, and the game had everything you can want out of the experience: trick plays, two-point conversions, long passes, going for it on fourth down. And I watched, not as a band member with a job to do, but just as a regular spectator, a Warrior fan. I hooted and hollered, leapt to my feet and cheered my heart out.

It felt so good to be a part of something like that.

Don’t get me wrong. It felt good, as a member of the marching band, to bring the soundtrack to the action each Friday night in high school.

The experience of just getting to watch the game, though, just be part of the crowd, just soak up the energy and enthusiasm – it was amazing. It’s not that I haven’t been to any high school football games at all since 2008 – I have – but it’s a little something different when it’s your alma mater. Your team.

If you have the opportunity to return to those hallowed grounds of high school, whether for a football game or a basketball game or some other event, may I encourage you to do so? If you’re like me, you’ll be glad you did.

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