It's been 5 years since I sat in the auditorium with the JL Mann class of 2011 as we watched a video montage of the 4 years of our lives on a giant screen with "You're Gonna Miss This" playing in the background. 5. Years. I still remember when we moved from the Old Mann to the new one. And when someone vandalized the old sign. I remember how anxious I felt to start high school and how excited I was leave at the end of my Senior year. A few things about Mann that most everyone knows.
1) Bill Linn
This man gives you legit life advice. He's absolutely hilarious and teaches you about accountability and the choices of your actions. He was one of my favorite teachers at Mann with his sarcastic wit and humor. I've always secretly coveted his "Don't Tread On Me" flag as well. Mr. Linn is still at Mann and is sporting this beard. If you get the chance, take his class!
2) Boys of Fall
Football. Football. Football. The thrill of the game, the adrenaline, the lights. Nothing compared to game day. The sheer athleticism of the boys on the team, their attention to detail and passion bled through on the field of each game. Not to mention, this team was chock full of great boys who are now great men, I'm sure. The excitement of watching the team fight for every yard was palpable. If you didn't attend at least one football game, you really missed out!
3) Mann V. Greenville
This game is like no other. The intensity of the players, the drive to beat your rival, and the vibrations of those in the stands. This game is maddening. Patriots support their team no matter what. In 2011 Patriots defeated the Red Raiders 21-7....for the first time in 14 years..Go Patriots! Although, we'd beat them in the amount of money collected for charities for 2 years in a row!
4) Spirit Week
This week is absolutely chaotic. Between the different dress up days all leading up to the final pep rally for the game is so much fun. Raising money for a charity has never looked so good! The various activities that take place throughout the week that you can participate in never allow you to have a dull moment! If you never got to see the Patriot mascot lead the team into the gym for the pep rally, you never lived. If you leave Mann without having at least ONE item with a Patriot emblazoned on it, then you never lived. If you never participated in a pep rally...you've never lived. For all those that were in band - thank you. You guys were instrumental in creating a good "fight song" to rally the fans.
5) Coach Watson
Joe Watson. Defensive Coordinator at Mann was a phenomenal person. If you were lucky enough to have had him as your Driver's Education teacher or to have been coached on the field by him, then you were lucky enough to know him. He was more than a football coach. He was a wonderful person and always had your best interest at heart. The world is a lesser place without him.
If you want to park in the lot, you had to take this course. Sitting through 4.5 hours of statistics, paradigms, safe habits, etc. on a Saturday morning may not have been how you wanted to start the day but when it was over you've never been so happy that you'd get to PARK your car.
7) The Long Walkway
That. Long. Walkway. This is a view from the student parking lot. It's a dreadful walk in the middle of winter or in the rain. You were either close to getting hypothermia or drenched (possibly both) by the time you got to the entrance. Not all of us carried umbrellas and I remember those storms where the wind would blow the rain right into your face as you were walking.