Back The Blue
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Back The Blue

A tribute to South Lenoir.

Back The Blue
Tape Preps

“Where the quarterback dates the homecoming queen

The trucks a Ford and the tractors green

And amazing grace is what we sing

Where there’s a county fair every fall

And your friends are there no matter when you call

It may not sound like much but it’s where I'm from”

I have always bled blue. From an early age, I have been a lover of Carolina Blue in two forms: South Lenoir Blue and (of course) Carolina Blue. There was never an option of what I was doing on a Friday night. I was either on the field with my daddy “helping” him coach or cheering alongside the cheerleaders in my mini cheerleading uniform stuffing my face with one of those amazing concession stand hotdogs.

As I got older I swapped my mini-cheerleader for a much, much larger official cheerleading uniform. Every Friday I would find myself on that football track cheering my little heart out and relishing in the “Friday Night Lights” feel. There is no better feeling than cheering for your friends under those bright lights with the crowd going crazy when a touchdown is scored. The band immediately begins to blast your school’s fight song and the excitement, the joy, and glee is evident on each and everyone’s face in the stand. Seeing my daddy jump up and down game after game screaming like a buffoon every time we score or a bad call is made. The support our school receives from our little community is inspiring. The nostalgia of those nights never leaves you. They remain present and vivid even once the uniform is removed.

I think that nostalgia comes from the fact that South Lenoir isn’t just a school; it’s truly a family. One could consider the sporting events to be the family reunions. Each week the stands flood with fans or “distant cousins” sporting their Blue Devil attire. We win together, we lose together, but no matter what we stand together. This staff treats each student that walks through their door like their own child; I can attest to this fact. There have been many times I have been shoved to the side so my parents could drop whatever they are doing to help another student (I have really suffered, let me tell you.) Truthfully I sometimes did get a little jealous, but as I have matured, I realize how important it was to so many students that my parents truly loved them enough to help their child that needed them the most at the moment. On the field and off, the coaches push their athletes to their fullest potential. Teachers encourage and inspire students to live their dreams. The administration cares about students and wants them to succeed. Your years at South Lenoir do not just teach you how to solve an algebraic equation or how to write a research paper; it prepares you for life and gives you the motivation that people believe in you and you can succeed. South Lenoir students and athletes know they are loved.

In return for the love the community shares with them, our athletes exemplify the ideals of a small town team. They are dedicated to this school and to their team. They respect their coaches and strive to win not only for themselves, but also for their coaches and their teammates. Many walk, during the hot summer mornings no less, miles to get to the practice if they do not have other means of transportation and they never once complain. They simply show up prepared to practice and work hard. If community members, other students, or staff see them walking or headed to school, they will stop on the side of the road and tell them to hop in for a ride. Not only is this a wonderful testament to our school and community, but stories like this our very rare in our world today. If only our world today could take pointers from the small town of Deep Run, what a wonderful world it would be.

An example of the lasting impression South Lenoir leaves on you is evident in our Football Homecoming this year. Numerous past graduates have come together to host a reunion of sorts in the “dog pound” on the night of Homecoming. Before the game, there will be an alumni tailgate open to all past graduates to allow time for catching up, reminiscing, and “pumping “ everyone up for the Homecoming festivities, which will be held on November 4, 2016 against the NL Hawks! All are welcome and encouraged to grab their Blue Devil attire and to come out and support our wonderful football team! The team on that field, no matter what year we graduated, is our family and we love them, win or lose. They are the ties that bind us all in one accord as we scream, “Go Big Blue!” from the stands.

Looking back the friendships created during your four years at South Lenoir are ones that remain present throughout the remainder of your life. My mom and her high school friends talk weekly and have “252” outings and trips each year. The same can be said about my aunt who remains equally as close to her high school friends. Through the years both groups have shared numerous laughs, stories, and cries that have united them and kept them just as strong as if they were still eighteen years old. No matter the age of the graduate, they back their South Lenoir Blue.

South Lenoir High School has been a part of me for quite a while and though I have moved on to another shade of blue that will never change. The school, the staff, and the journey you experience during your four years will leave a lasting impact on you. It changes you in the best way possible. Through one’s four years at SLHS one learns not only who they are, but also the true meaning of community. It fills you with a spirit that makes you joyful to be a part of a small town and even more ecstatic to be a part of this school. Thank you principals, teachers, and coaches for loving us as your own as we passed through our years in high school. We were high school students and probably never told you, but as we grow up and return back to you year after year, I hope you realize what you meant to us. We love you Blue!

“When I describe South Lenoir to others, I describe to them the family atmosphere, the tight-knit relationship the school shares with its community, and the pride that is evident in not only our students and staff, but also in this community as well.” – Coach Jeremy Joyner, South Lenoir head football coach 2016

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.

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