It’s homecoming week – be ‘a part of’ it

I’m getting excited for Homecoming, are you?
It ‘takes me back’ to a simpler time – one when I wasn’t the one worrying about the bills, work and family. (Thanks Mom – for those days! Gee, they went by so quickly.)
I spent time as a Spartan in that beautiful red and white – and those hot, heavy band uniforms. I also spent time in the beautiful orange and black of the Hardin-Central Bulldogs – and they had hot, heavy band uniforms too! (Since then, I’ve learned that nearly every band has the same!)
Anyway, I would be very remiss if I didn’t take the time to say thank you to those that have made the effort to display Spartan signs around town.
Maybe it doesn’t seem like much, but the gesture doesn’t go unnoticed I hope. Thanks to the businesses that have Spartan signs in their windows. Thanks to those that went a step further and painted their windows! Thanks to those that put an ad in the paper with a neat quote cheering for our team. Thanks to our cheerleaders that have been decorating some of the businesses.
I also want to thank the schools for all they do to promote school spirit, which in turn promotes a sense of belonging, a sense of community and a sense of being part of something good. And all of us make a difference – for good or not.
Richmond High School Principal Karen Southwick is a huge Spartan fan. She reminded me that the Mom Squad has large red and white flags that businesses, or homeowners, can fly on game day (or all year if you like!). They cost $30 each.
Wouldn’t it be great to see those flags lining Main Street or down Spartan Drive, out in front of businesses and hanging in neighborhoods? What do you think that would do for our players, cheerleaders, band and students? The message would be the most important thing anyone can know – that they are cared for (win or lose), that they matter and that their community is proud of them and behind them.
Karen also told me that our businesses were notified and encouraged to hang up Spartan posters and to go all out. It’s neat to see that some have heeded that and understand the importance of it. THANK YOU!
The Mom Squad also has yard signs. You can get in on the spirit of things and make your own sign for your player. They have the pattern. You only need wood, paint and a bit of elbow grease. Don’t they look great? (Contact Jeanine Swope for information on these) It always makes me smile when I see them proudly posted in yards here and there. One resident took it a step farther and put one out for the Spartans and one for the Chiefs. (Incidentally, pay close attention when you come to the game Friday night. Those signs have a part in the festivities too!)
Did you know that Student Council has ordered a mascot costume that will be debuted in the Homecoming Parade on Friday? See if you can spot it. Plans are to raise enough money to buy a big Spartan, and that will be an undertaking as the huge fellow costs around $3,500.
The schools are enjoying Spirit Week as Homecoming approaches. Each school has a theme for each day and students seem to like dressing up for them. I remember the crazy socks day and backwards day (when the high schoolers wore their clothing backwards – that must’ve been uncomfortable, but it was a great photo!).
To those who say it would be easier for them to have spirit and show it “if we had a winning team,” well, we’re all winners as long as we keep on trying. Should we just give up when the going gets tough? Would people like that better? No. As I said before, a true fan is a fan whether their team is winning or having a tough season.
Lest I be stoned at this admission, I have been a fan of the Oakland Raiders since Kenny Stabler was quarterback. We all know that the Raiders have had some gruesome seasons, as have the Chiefs. While we may be absent from Arrowhead Stadium – due to high ticket and gas prices – we can still go to Spartan Stadium for a few bucks and be surrounded by family, friends, neighbors and Richmond itself. It’s like a reunion! And cheering really is heard on the field and sidelines.
School pride, team spirit and a sense of being united is developed in us at a very young age. Thanks to those at Dear and Sunrise who are really focusing on this through incentives offered, through assemblies and guests to these young students.
Now, back to our awesome cheerleaders. Did you know that these gals decorate the doors of senior football players and take them goodies the night before a game? Their energy just knows no bounds. And, they’re always on the watch for new ways to promote the team and support the players. Love your portion of half-time, girls! You have ‘No Fear!’ Rock on!
A bonfire is scheduled for Thursday night. Thanks to the cheerleaders and Student Council for helping with that! Come to the bonfire, there’s a surprise!
Hurray to the drumline, cheerleaders and senior football players for taking the time to go to the other schools to get them involved in team spirit!
I’d also like to give a big thank you to the band, for playing the National Anthem where it was easier for everyone to hear it and to be reverent during it. It was wonderful having you more central to the action in the stands. Thanks for your half-time performance too! Everyone is looking forward to the next one. Keep it up! Hopefully, you’ve heard from many that saw the show and thanked you for it.
Did I leave anyone out? I hope not. You’re all so valuable. A special thanks to those who have called me or sent cards, or given me hugs when you’ve liked an article, a column or a photo. Almost always, they come at a time when I’ve been struggling. Sometimes, it seems I just can’t get something right – and we all have those moments. You made my day, thank you.
Happy Wednesday to all! Watch for those decorated windows, the yard signs, and flags, and come to the bonfire and parade. You can be ‘a part of’ something wonderful just by coming to them and the game. Thanks to everyone that gives so much to our youth and our community! You are making a difference! Go Big Red!

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