Sunday, September 21, 2014

High School Football

Despite threatening rain clouds, homecoming at Navasota High School brought out the entire town. Alumni as far back as the Class of '35 were honored (that's 80 amazing years!), and the bleachers were filled with people of all ages dressed in blue and white attire.

While the rain stayed way, memories of my own high school senior year homecoming flooded my mind. Navasota's Rattler Nation includes a marching band complete with a majorette and six flag girls, the Diamonette drill team, a slew of cheerleaders, and no less than 54 football players who suited up for the game. Back in my day, the green and white fighting Huntsville Hornets had no drill team, no flag girls, only six cheerleaders, and maybe 20 players.

But the hometown spirit was the same: Friday night football in Texas rules!

In the 1960s, we girls wore mums to homecoming. We'd keep them afterwards, pinned to our mirrors or walls where they turned brown and dried to fragile artifacts. My mind conjured the images of those big fat white flowers, and I thought how times have changed.

The corsages I saw Friday night were made of artificial flowers and accessorized with bling on steroids. Lots of different styles, too. The style I'd consider traditional was worn on the left shoulder, but oh my gosh, the glittered streamers flowed from shoulder to ankle. There were also corsages as necklaces, as armbands, and the most popular: as garters worn on the thigh. The garters were favored by the cheerleaders in their min-skirts, as well as spectators in blue jean shorts.

How times have changed.

Even though the 1960s claimed Drugs, Sex, and Rock 'Roll as its banner in American culture, Huntsville High School officials held tightly to the values of the 1950s, and cheerleader skirts were required to hit mid-calf, covering darn near all of their legs. Even if flower-clad garters had been available (and trust me, they were not), L.K. Westmoreland would never have allowed the cheerleaders on the field had they dared to wear them.

Confession: Ronnie and I did not stay for the entire game. The Rattlers were ahead 42-3 at halftime, and we felt confident the hometown team could win without our cheering from the stands. We bought "Navasota Rattlers Get Ready" t-shirts because we heard that the Rattlers will probably go to District and we will want to be in the stands to witness their win. We watched the crowning of Rebecca White as homecoming queen and listened to the Class of '35 and the Class of '45 sing the school song. While most folks stayed for the rest of the game, hollering and stomping and cheering the Rattlers as the second half began, we sneaked out.

While I  waited for Ronnie to get the car from the crowded parking lot, I sang my school song softy to myself ("Oh, Huntsville High School, hear us singing our love and loyalty to thee beneath the shadows of the pine trees..."). We moseyed over to the Wrangler steak house on Hwy 6 and talked about how much we love this small town.

What are your high school homecoming memories?