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Sue's Views Add a new Tiger football tradition

I'm not really a big football fan. However, I have come to realize that football season is a special time, for athletes and parents alike, and there's nothing like a Friday night football game to bring the community together.

This was the first season of Tiger football for which I have attended all of the home games. In fact, this was the first time since my own high school days that I have gone to more than one football game in a season and stayed past halftime. And honestly, I was only at the high school games of my youth because I was in the marching band and it was required.

But I now have a son who was dressing for the varsity games, so I was at Big Cat whenever the Tigers were playing at home. I got sunburned at one of the games, rained on at another and sat wrapped in blankets for at least the last two.

And yet, I'd still consider myself a fair-weather fan by comparison to most of the other folks in the stands. Many of the parents went to all of the games, regardless of where our young men were traveling. Several knew all sorts of stats about the athletes and the team as well as most of the boys' names.

Coincidentally, I was not the only parent sitting at Tiger games in Big Cat stadium for the first time. This was the first year that Morris Area and Chokio-Alberta paired for football. So there were all sorts of folks as new to this stadium as I was.

One of the notable moments of the season was Homecoming. The Tigers didn't win the football game, but all of the royalty from both high schools were recognized on the field at halftime. Together. It took only a few minutes more to include the C-A royalty and we were all able to maintain our school identity and continue our traditions.

It was comforting to see Neal Hofland on the sidelines. Neal was the Spartan football coach for 30 years or so, and I'm sure it made the transition for the C-A players a bit easier to have Neal there to remind them that football is football and your teammates are the guys in the same color uniform. It certainly made for stories around our dining room table, as my son got to have the same coach as his father did, 30 years later.

There's just one more little thing that I think would make this pairing perfect. When the Tigers win and they gather in front of the stands to sing the school song, I'd like to hear them sing both the Morris and the C-A songs.

One of my favorite moments of the whole season occurred following the win over BOLD. No one, including some of the players, expected the Tigers to win that game. So it took a bit longer than usual to get the boys collected to sing the Morris school song. At that moment, one young man from C-A bellowed out, "I don't know the words to this song!"

My husband, a C-A graduate and former captain of the Spartan football team, offered to sing the Chokio-Alberta school song with him.

Our daughter cringed at the thought of her dad singing in public.

I suggested that maybe the two districts could pair in pep band too.

But I digress.

All in all, it was a good year for the Tiger football team. The athletes from C-A made for a stronger Tiger team and we all benefitted from this pairing arrangement. We were able to build on the traditions of both football programs and create opportunities for a better team.

So, let's add to the Tiger winning tradition and sing both the Morris and Chokio-Alberta school songs after every home win.