Championships are no strangers to the Small Town High School. In the late 60s-early '70s it was basketball. In the late 70s it was football. We won the state championship in our division all 3 years of my Sophomore, Junior, and Senior Years. I think they won a couple more between my graduation and when we moved back, which was a span of 20 years.
OS was a sophomore when we moved back. He was on the football team all 3 years. The first year: Championship. CH told him that winning 1 was great, but don't expect it to happen again. He kind of had to eat his words, because OS has 3 State Championship Rings. He & MS were on the team together for 1 year, and MS has 4 rings of his own. When MS graduated, Small Town had racked up 5 straight championships, and they won 2 more after that. The last 2 years have been "down years": they made it as far as the semi's, but ended up getting beat by the eventual champion.
For me, the highlight of the Championship is the morning the players leave for the game. They start off with a pep rally at the high school, then they make their way down to the middle school, where the student body is on the sidewalk, waiting for them to go through the "receiving line" while giving high fives.
Then it gets crazy: they get on the bus and ride down the hill to the elementary school. It is so neat to see those little ones jumping up and down and cheering for their heroes: the high school football team. You look in those little eyes, and you can see the admiration. I know exactly how they feel: I felt the same way about the basketball players when I was their age.
The kids make banners and decorate the playground:
This is one of the nice things about living in a small town: there is such a sense of community and family here. Even when things don't go as we would hope!