Catch that Panther Pride

I am writing from home this weekend. I hail from a very special community that exists in southwest Ohio. This weekend is Homecoming. The high school is on fire with school pride. I love high school pride. It is one of my top favorite things. A lot of people think it’s fake or phony or something, but I think that is mostly because you read Catcher in the Rye in high school. In Catcher in the Rye, everything is phony. So we can’t trust that.

School spirit can be a really cool thing. It unites people. It energizes them. It drives creativity. When I was a senior, one of my good friends got elected to Homecoming Court for the first time. We were all really excited, but the thing was that he was the voice of our class. One day, I’m pretty sure he’s going to host The Price is Right. He was supposed to emcee the halftime show, not be in it. And so the school had to find a replacement. They asked me to do it, and I accepted because I had a public speaking course that semester, and I was pretty sure that talking in front of a classroom was the same thing as talking in front of a football stadium.

It wasn’t.

And there are all of these pictures of me looking a little bit awkward. But I think if you listened to a recording of the halftime show, you would find that I may have done relatively well. And I loved it. I loved every minute of it.

I bring all of this up because this story is the first time I was asked to be THE MAN in a situation. If the halftime show had failed, it would have been on me. But it didn’t. And this whole experience was brought about because of school spirit.

I have one legitimate little brother, but I really have three little brothers who are all seniors at my hometown high school. And I got to see today how good school spirit has been for all of them. I went to the Homecoming pep rally. My real brother was dressed up as a cheerleader. And my other two brothers rapped. And it was great. But everyone was surprised. (Not so much about my cheerleader brother; people expect things like that from him.) But multiple teachers approached me during the day and said, “I didn’t know Zach and AJ rapped.” My point is that perhaps these teachers would have never known if not for school spirit.

What’s your Homecoming story?