Saturday, November 3, 2012

If I Hear One More Person Say "Get Your Head In The Game" I'll Scream!

Seriously. I'm glad to know they all watched "High School Musical" but did they manage to find all the flaws or did they just learn the songs?  Matthew and I used to go through and pick the movies apart - that's how we roll. 

For the second year in a row, the Clymer Pirates made it to the Division DD Title Championship.  This meant FIELD TRIP!  Yes, indeedy. We loaded up the school buses at 7:30am after 1/2 hour of practice for the girls and shuffled off to Buffalo.  The spectators and cheerleaders rode on my kids' normal bus with my kids' normal driver - who seemed amused when they took attendance and called me by my previous married name and I said out loud "I always hated that name."

Anyway, apparently we aren't as well behaved as my kids because we had to sit in the front of the bus.  That's where Norville seats the little kids and those who misbehave. I swear I was on my best behaviour.  Of course I was sitting with the cheerleaders and you never know what they will do, so I guess I understand. 
Amanda and I on the bus
Amanda has decided that she really loves Westfield.  As we passed through it, she fell in love with the older homes and the beauty of the town. Victorian houses surrounded by vineyards with a view of Lake Erie.  How could you not love it?

At one point Norville was trying to ask Coach a question but she was listening to Flo-Ri-Da and mouthing along with it.

Really, the girls had to get off the bus as soon as it stopped so they could run into the stadium. What stadium, you ask?  Why the Buffalo Bills Ralph Wilson Stadium, of course!

I admit it - I was in complete awe!!  I mean this is "The Ralph"!  I'm not a big Bills fan. I'm a Broncos fan since way back - oh, hush up! I am!  But still, this was really cool.

I came waltzing in with two pairs of socks, regular jeans over my skinny jeans, Amanda's cheer hoodie from last year under my heavy coat - with a Dutch Bros hoodie for back-up.  I had an umbrella plus a heavy fleece blanket for whatever the weather would bring us. What I lacked was my sneakers - somebody borrowed them and I could only find one on the dryer and my gloves - I only had one in my purse.  I wore my ballet flats and left the lone glove at home.

I just can't get over how awesome this place is!  I'm sure I looked like tourist, stopping to take photos, but I didn't care.

The last time I was in an stadium-type was in the much smaller HemisFair Arena in San Antonio to watch a Spurs basketball game back in 1990.  Three years before they moved to the Alamodome. 
Welcome to the 2012 High School Football Play-offs!!
Class DD Championship Game
Clymer Pirates (7-1) vs. Ellicottville/West Valley Eagles (6-2)
 The weather forecast on the screen showed the temperature to be 37 with a wind chill of 29 degrees. Yet, the girls once again insisted on wearing their skirts.  We don't want them to look fat, after all. This is where I would be shaking my head.

The girls put on brave faces despite their freezing to death as they posed for many pictures from their adoring public.

Amanda was a bit down-in-the-dumps after a major snub by her fellow cheerleaders that left their coach shocked by the other girls' behaviour and Amanda hurt by their cruelty. But you know, if you are a sweet and quiet person and you get involved with the ultimate in self-involvement then you need to learn to duck their blows and go on with your life. I am proud of my daughter.  I know she cares about others and would never hurt anyone the way they hurt her.  That makes her the better person.

Back to the pre-game warm-ups. Okay, this was a bit different.  Some people stretch or do exercises.  The girls wrapped themselves in blankets.  It's still warming up - right?

It is time - The boys were introduced and they were ready to charge the sign.  Go Pirates!  They were so excited to be able to stand mid-field.

At what point in time did the rules on the national anthem change?  Are we really supposed to put our hands on our hearts for this? All my life that was reserved for the pledge or men with hats.

More posing. If they had moved around a bit more and done a few more cheers during the first half they might have stayed warmer.  Or maybe if they had worn clothes. I was cold just looking at them.

Well, that and when Amanda would keep taking my blanket away from me. When it came time to getting warm all feelings were put aside and they used everyone's body heat. They were about to perform their fantastic half-time dance and needed to warm up a bit so they could move.  A football dad came down and told me he didn't approve and a football mom lectured Coach about letting the girls huddle for five minutes before half-time. They were allowed to huddle. After all, it's easy to complain when you are bundled from the cold.  Did I mention 29 degrees wind chill?  Poor girls...

Funny story: 
The couple sitting across the aisle from me arrived late and were friends of Coach.  As the ball was passed and the player ran for a touchdown, the man yelled "That's what I'm talking about!" I looked over at him.  The player ran the 15 yards to the endzone while the man yelled "Yah! Yah! Yah!" I turned around at the rest of the spectators (I was in the front row playing Mary Poppins with Amanda's bag for her).  The other spectators were watching the man. The player scored a touchdown and the man cheered!!  Coach walked up to the wall and said "Both schools have the same colours. Clymer is wearing white today."

Half-time dance. The girls did an amazing job!
The beginning and end are a bit shaky because I was just learning how to use Matthew's android and was looking at buttons - I never did find the zoom until the dance was over.  I think they are called smart phones to describe the intelligence of the user.

 Second half and the girls who remembered their warm-up pants put them on. Notice Amanda on the far left didn't. Dingy. Amanda did find one of my gloves in the pocket of her jacket.  hmmm... I wonder who it was that borrowed my gloves last?  And why did I end up with one?  Ariel had her hoodie for the game personalized to memorialize our beloved Superintendent Keith Reed who was murdered in September.

The girls did a lot more cheering during the second half. It might have been because some of them were better dressed. It may have been to stay warm. Or it may have been that the boys were getting their mojo back and after ending the first half at 34-0, they stopped any further touch-downs by Ellicottville and got some points themselves. Thank God, because I was tired of parents yelling "Get your head in the game!"

 Amanda noticed the same thing I did: whenever the boys did badly it was dark and overcast, when they did well the sun would pop out.  Amanda said she felt that instead of God watching us, Mr. Reed was watching. She said when the boys didn't do well Mr. Reed would cover his eyes and when the boys kicked butt Mr. Reed would uncover his eyes and watch.

Coach was given some shirts to throw to the spectators.  The crowd went wild for this.  There was a group of boys who kept cheering when the girls weren't and they managed to get a shirt to them.

Time to head home.  The score was 34-17. Clymer lost. My toes were numb.  I longed for the bus.  As we were driving down the Thruway we saw the snow clouds rolling in.  Thankfully they weren't further south at home.

Amanda was deep in thought. So many of the kids were sad.  Cheerleaders were crying.  They shouldn't be.  The Pirates made it to The Ralph TWO YEARS IN A ROW!  Plus this year they got on the board.  Ellicottville was a tough team. Clymer fought hard.  They did an amazing job.

They should be proud of themselves.

I am proud of them.

I know Mr. Reed is proud of them.

Amanda appeased me and stood on the footbridge over the Thruway on the way to Mickey D's. Really she was thinking "We have 31 minutes to get back to the bus. I'm cold. I'm starving. Now take the picture and let's go!"

This was cool.  A player piano was serenading everyone that walked into the building.  Coach called it "Creepy."

I told Amanda I would blog about this: she was dumping sugar packets into her coffee and when she got to the last packet she tore it open and dumped it into the bag of trash.  (I choked on my burger *still giggling*)

Another thing I have to point out: we had hamburgers with cheese in Hamburg (NY).  

I find that amusing. But then, I am easily amused. 

It's hard to tell in this photo but the grapevines were brown and drying up for the winter.  Winter is right around the corner.

One of the interesting things about riding in a bus for a total of four hours with three older women and a man who drives fro a living, I now know gossip about so many people. I hope I don't end up all gossipy when I finally grow up. 

Welcome home. The garage light was on at Mr. Reed's empty house as we neared Clymer.  It was as if he was welcoming us home. (His memorial in the foreground is still maintained by students and teachers alike.)

Day three of this month of gratitude

I am grateful for furry pets to snuggle with.



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