If the events of the world today are leaving you jaded and dismal, then I invite you to read the following tribute to small town kids and to certainly watch the videos. The first one is a brief explanation/interview with the MHS cheerleaders as they made all Munday Moguls proud. The second video has nothing to do with the essence of this post, but also deals with a MM football player. It is a truly inspiring moment when a soldier returns home to surprise his brother and his mother (who have no clue of his return) at a pep rally. The mother does not initially see her military son when the blindfold is removed but reacts to the TV cameras right in front of her. The scene of this little family coming together is a great moment. Times like these give me hope. Smile.
“And I go back to the feel of a fifty yard line
A blanket, a girl, some raspberry wine
Wishin’ time would stop right in its tracks
Every time I hear that song, I go back, I go back” – – Kenny Chesney, I Go Back
We all know how lucky we are in Texas if we are still playing football past Thanksgiving. That’s how it was here on a perfect, crisp, sunny autumn day when I donned the Mogul purple and gold of my childhood years and went to cheer on my high school football team in a playoff game. Man, are these games tough, and they can go right down to the wire. This one was true to form, and with seven seconds left (that’s right as in seven little tic-tock seconds), my team managed to score a touchdown as the clock ran out. That feeling, that euphoria….I screamed like it was 1979. All I was missing was my best friend, Mary and our super dance moves that we did to KC and the Sunshine Band’s, That’s the Way I Like It.
The other thing about Texas and high school football is that there are A LOT of exceedingly good teams. So the next week rolled around, and my team, the heroes of a little town, were off on a rainy Friday day that would turn into a rainy Friday night. They were going to meet the formidable Iraan Braves from further west Texas in a stadium that was midway between both towns. The game started strong for the Moguls, and they scored 14 points right off the bat. The kids were ecstatic, they were learning the art and character of champions. Then, as things go, the tide began to turn, and the Moguls after making two touchdowns were unable to get back into scoring mode. The other team ended up with a large win.
Hearts were breaking, and after congratulating the other team, the players, cheerleaders, and the band loaded up into the buses to head back home. Playoff hopes dashed, no state title in the cards this year. The hearts of champions were fast sinking into cold, rainy history. As the two teams headed back home in opposite directions, the unthinkable happened. In the dark night, on a slick highway, a semi-truck jackknifed and came across the median striking the Iraan bus carrying the cheerleading squad, coach, and driver. The cheerleaders sustained a range of injuries, although not serious, but sadly, their coach died in the crash. What a terrible blow to a talented football team and a close-knit small town. All Mogul fans understand the connection between small town citizens. The Iraan excitement was short lived, thus they returned to a much stiller town.
When the news broke about the accident and the Iraan cheerleaders who lost so much and were now unable to cheer for their team, the Mogul cheerleaders responded immediately. They would learn the other team’s cheers, they would go the following week to spur the Braves on to victory. Yes, they would. They would support the team that ended the season for the Moguls. The cheerleaders stepped up to the plate, taking many of the townspeople with them, cheering the Braves for a win which they accomplished gracefully. They weren’t the only ones, cheerleaders of other towns joined them in their support. I would say that the kids of MHS have truly demonstrated what should be in the hearts of the world: love, compassion, assistance, pride, loyalty and the ability to react and do what is right when it is required. Because that’s what champions do, and they have learned the art well. I was never more proud to be a Mogul, maybe not even as proud as when it was 1979.
To-day, the road all runners come,
Shoulder-high we bring you home,
And set you at your threshold down,
Townsman of a stiller town. — To An Athlete Dying Young – A. E. Houseman
Cheerleaders to Cheer for Iraan Video:
Marine Son Surprises his Brother and Mother at a Mogul Pep Rally: