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A Friday Night Experience

October 2, 2010 - Al Stephenson
My wife and I headed for Oak Harbor last night. The destination was the high school as Oak Harbor was hosting Port Clinton in a Friday night football contest. Actually the game was not the reason for going. It was homecoming at OHHS and my nephew, Alex Wilhelm, was a senior member of the homecoming court. As it turned out, with the pregame announcement, he was elected king. Congratualtions Alex.

Oak Harbor took the opening kickoff some 90 yards for a TD only to see Port Clinton come right back to tie it up. From there only a field goal was added to the scoreboard as Oak Harbor took a hard fought victory. The game was tight and compelling, but it was just part of the overall festivities. One of the things I like about high school football is watching the marching bands and the cheerleaders. Even if a game is not particularly exciting (this one was despite the lack of scoring) there are so many things going on that you have to leave the field smiling.

This night was no exception as the night started with an Oak Harbor cheerleader singing the National Anthem. At halftime she would assume her postition with the marching band. You have to love that aspect of small school athletics. Multi-tasking is par for the course. My nephew was decked out in a suit for his crowning. He removed the sport coat soon thereafter and grabbed his sousaphone. He looked a little different from other band members during the halftime performance, but no more so than the singing cheerleader or two football players, who removed their shoulder pads and commenced marching.

Since my daughter was a member of Columbian's marching band before spending four years performing for Ohio University's Marching 110, I have become more conscious of the effort band members put in to entertain football fans. Last night was a great example of high school athletes (yes, I did say athletes - go to a band camp or practice sometime) showcasing their talents.

Port Clinton's band was outstanding. They had an OU feel, as they added a dance routine to one of their songs. They received a riochly deserved loud ovation from the Oak Harbor faithful following their show. Oak Harbor's band did just one song by themselves before being joined by members of the Oak Harbor Alumni band for three additional songs.

Before the combined efforts, the PA announcer welcomed the members of the alumni group by introducing them by decades. The last member was introduced individually as the lady who was hoisting a sousaphone of her own, was introduced as a member of the class of 1945! Do the math folks. This young octogenerian was as enthusiastic as anyone else on the field.

The view from my seat would suggest that if you are looking for something to do on a Friday night, try heading to a local high school. The Friday night football experience is cheap, wholesome fun activity. You are likely to leave with a smile on your face.


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