The stands fill with chatter and excitement as Friday Night Football is about to take place at the good ole Eureka football field. You hear the 50/50 raffle tickets being advertised as soon as you sit down. You may even grab a cheeseburger on your way to your seat.
Students pack the pound as they are all dressed for the weekly theme. Whether it be our stereotypical hick theme or neon night, every student is bound to go all out. Freshmen fill the back rows, and upperclassmen take their seniority filling in the front rows and leading the Catpound.
The cheerleaders and Golden Line make their lines on the field as "Hells Bells" begins to play over the speakers. A glance to your left and you see the Wildcat football team walking along the pawprint path to stop at the edge of the track. They jump with excitement in a huddle as they are about to sprint onto the field.
Everyone stands up and claps with joy as the Wildcats take on the opposing team.
This is what our town lives for.
The boys run out on the field, one of them holding the Marine flag and wearing number 28. Jersey number 28 has such a special meaning to all of the players as it honors Riley Baker. The player who is a good teammate and leader gets awarded his jersey for the weekly game.
Bursting through the banner that the cheerleaders eagerly hold up, the boys are now hyped up and ready to play. Their energy is spread throughout the crowd.
The band plays the National Anthem, and following, the cheerleaders and dancers join in with the fight song.
As the boys get organized and ready to play and the captains meet with the refs, the crowd watches the center of the track, enjoying the pep routine the cheerleaders and dancers perform together.
Before you know it, kick off has happened and the game is underway.
Half time comes around, and Golden Line takes the center of the football field. Everyone’s eyes are fixed on their routine because they hit everything perfectly. The band is up next as they perform their amusing halftime show.
Back for the second half of the game, and the Wildcats are back fighting for another victory.
The atmosphere our community puts together for our football team is one that no one can forget. Whether you are out there on the field, cheering on the sidelines, dancing at half time, a student in the Catpound, a parent supporting your child, a faculty member staffing the game, or just a member from the Eureka community, you have truly made a difference. Not only in the growth of the programs Eureka High School provides, but to every student who walks through those halls.
Coming from a small town, Eureka football is something that brings everyone together. Our town has a sense of unity when it comes to fall Friday nights.
They are an unforgettable experience, and something that everyone must return to, even after they graduate.
To those who are experiencing their high school journey right now, do not take a single moment for granted. Love it. Love it when it’s good. Love it when it’s bad. Love your teammates. Love your classmates.
Because later on down the line, you’ll be wishing you were back in those stands, cheering on your friends and anxiously waiting for the next week of Friday Night Lights in your hometown.
Eureka. Wildcat. Football.