Updated: Sep 1, 2021
After touring my old HS I went over to RayPec to pickup Alexander and Phaedra who had just finished Cross Country practice. Phaedra was excited to attend the home opener football game and Alexander, wanting to spend time with his best friend asked to go too. Phaedra's friend wasn't allowed to go (with us anyway) so she invited a young man from practice instead. I ran my kids to their moms so they could shower then drove around picking up their friends.
Once I had the whole crew we went to Sonic for dinner and in true HS student style they all let me pay (my kids AND their friends). They acted zany and over the top in that way kids do to endear themselves to friends. Finally I pulled them away and drove to the stadium. RayPec HS is set out from the two cities that it gets its name from (Raymore and Peculiar) but this remoteness allowed them to grow and the campus of High School, Middle school (old High School), administrative offices, stadium, XC course, etc takes up an impressive amount of space with a fire station and church thrown in for good measures.
The campus was alive with people and we had to park quite far from the entrance. The sun was still setting and you could see throngs of people from all directions making their way to the gates. I made plans to meet them back at the entrance following the game and we went off on our own. Phaedra to find her friend, Alexander and his friends to meet up and socialize (and ignore the game) and me to the visitors side.
I found some folks to sit with and introduced myself. We cheered and jeered together, enjoying the game with likeminded people always makes it better. The Hawklets set out early and scored a couple of touchdowns (would have been 3 if not for a bad penalty that brought back an interception the defense ran back). The stands on both sides were packed and the lines all around the fence were filled with overflowing onlookers. Sadly very few people were wearing masks. Although we were outside the close proximity warranted protection from the pandemic in my view.
In the end the homefield advantage was too much and the Panthers came out on top with seconds left on the clock. I returned the kids and made it home shortly after 11 but I had the joy of watching my old school play its heart out. Hopefully it wont be another 2 decades before I do it again.