Besides being a wife, mother, hairstylist and blogger I also coach high school cheerleading with my mother in law. – Life is too short to live the same day twice right? This is my fourth year coaching and my second year with varsity which means on Friday nights in the fall you can catch me at Bill Adams Field, wearing my maroon and Gold and cheering on the Pineville Mountain Lions! My alma mater and where I spent my Friday nights wearing the same maroon and gold uniforms not to many years ago.
Friday night was our first home game of the season and the Laurel Bowl. I couldn’t have been more excited to get this season started. Paw prints were freshly painted on the sidewalk with each senior football players name and number and each senior cheerleader and band member. New art work had been added to a concrete wall beyond the field making the perfect backdrop. Flags and wreaths were hung along every home. The town was practically painted in maroon and gold. The perfect scenery of a town full of pride and spirit.
The senior paw prints were painted by the varsity cheerleaders.
Game days for me as a coach are usually pretty busy. I started this day of by delivering treat bags to the school for my girls. A bag full of sweets to motivate their school spirit. I then loaded my vehicle with two wagons full of cheer supplies. I joked with Jared I really upgraded to a bigger vehicle because of coaching not because of our growing family. A lot of baggage comes with supplying nineteen cheerleaders with everything they will or might need for a ball game. After loading the cheer supplies Jared and I then loaded the baby supplies. Strollers, blankets, extra clothes, snacks. Everything our two boys may need for a night at the field. I laid out the boys best maroon attire and left Jared with bathing and clothing instructions before heading back to the school.
At 3:30 I held a last minute practice to insure my girls were ready for their first performance of the season. Pineville is a very small school that is very prideful in holding their traditions true. As a coach and former cheerleader I have those same expectations. I want every word in our school song to be sung, I want every move in our band dance to be done as it always has been. It is truly nostalgic standing in the crowd chanting CHI-CHA-RAH-RAH-RAH with my team and generation of former cheerleaders and fans. I teach my girls to have pride in tradition and it is considered disrespectful of all those cheerleaders before them to do our school song “Loyalty” an injustice.
Before we knew it was almost game time. I arrived at the field pushing a stroller with one hand and pushing a cheer wagon with the other. Mom life and coach life I guess. It was Banks first Pineville game. He snoozed in his stroller right on the field as the girls warmed-up. Miles snoozed across the street at Jared’s parents house. -Another great perk of living in a small town.
When we entered the field an hour early fans were already lined up along the fence watching warm-ups in great anticipation. The stands were already full in a sea of maroon and gold. The football team and cheerleaders warmed-up as the band took the stands to prepare. On the other side of the field a firetruck and the canon sat. Ready to ring and ready to fire after each touchdown also followed by our school song performed by our band and cheerleaders. If you have never experienced an environment like this, a small town school on a Friday night you are truly missing something. You can practical feel the pride in the air. Win or lose the stands are full, that fence is draped with old-timers and has-beens reliving their glory days in the same uniforms, on the same field. What a sight.
The cheerleaders raise up the run through and students and kids all line up in the spirit line ready for the football team to tear through and run onto the field. All cheerleaders and fans chant P-H-S and clap their hands as the team bust through. The band fires up the school song and the cheerleaders run to the sideline ready to jump right into their band dance. It was officially game time!
My mother in law, Banks and I sat in the stands watching the girls while Jared and Miles had a big time running around below, occasionally joining us for snacks. Snow cones and popcorn. A couple of his favorites!
Right off the start the Mountain Lions scored a touchdown and the first canon was fired. The first of many. The band played, the cheerleaders cheered, the crowd roared. It was the atmosphere we had all been waiting for and after four quarters with the Mountain Lions leading the way the entire game they defeated the Paris Greyhounds 47-14 making us the Laurel Bowl champions! The entire D-line was gave defensive player(s) of the game. A well deserved award holding the hounds to just two touchdowns.
My cheerleaders cheered their hearts out and we were so impressed with their first performance. My boys also had a blast, one mostly slept the game away and one ran the stands and ate snacks left and right. You can catch us doing the same thing every Friday night for the next few weeks, enjoying every minute of small town Friday nights how they are meant to be spent.