Finding a reason to cheer

Billy Cannada Staff Writer

August 28, 2013

We had already been in the car two full hours when I looked at my wife and said, “This is ridiculous.”

Though the rain refused to let up and weather threatening to ruin the night, my wife and I were on the way to the opening game of the 2013 high school football season.

Like last year’s Easley/Pickens game, I knew the stands would be packed at Easley. This is why we made sure to leave early. I’m talking more than an hour early. Surely that would enough time to get where we needed to be.

I was wrong.

We were only two miles away from Easley High School, but it took us an hour and 40 minutes to arrive in front of the stadium. The lots at Easley filled up so fast that people literally had nowhere to park.

I walked into the stadium at about 8:40 p.m. (40 minutes after the scheduled kickoff) and the game was still a ways away from starting. A 30 minute wait time was enforced every time lighting struck prior to the game’s start, so patience was required (in many different ways) to catch a glimpse of the first game of the season.

But, if you think that was stopping fans (mainly Easley High students) from having a good time, you’d be wrong.

As I stumbled into the stadium forty minutes late, I was SURE I was missing something. All I could hear was roars from the crowd. You would have thought Easley had just won the game.

The funny thing was, students really didn’t have anything to cheer about. They were just running through the standard cheers for a home game, but the intensity they had for the season opener was simply something you could only find in the south.

They were ready for football season and they could’ve cared less about the weather.

This became even more evident in the second quarter in between plays. Both teams were setting up to run the next play when a complete blackout resulted in the loudest cheers of the night. Within minutes, every Easley football player was jumping around with students in the student sections screaming “We love you guys!”

It was hilarious, and it perfectly portrayed what game one of the regular season was truly like.

After the game, the question had to be asked.

Was this the wackiest game you’ve ever been a part of?

Pickens coach Chad Seaborn put it plainly.

“I’ve never been a part of anything like it,” he said.

First year Easley Coach Grayson Howell said this is exactly how he had pictured it.

“Other than the lighting and the rain and the power outage, it went exactly how we had it drawn up,” Howell said with a smile. “This was the longest win of my career. It’s the first one, but it’s also the longest.”

As I exited the stadium at midnight knowing I would only get about 6 hours of sleep that night, I thought back to what I had seen from that Easley student section.

I really didn’t care. It’s football season and that’s reason enough to be happy.