OUTDOOR Adventures By Brian G. Schommer As I was enjoying an “Outdoor Adventure” at the final regular season home football game for the Hastings Raiders, my mind seemed to be on constant rewind …
By Brian G. Schommer
As I was enjoying an “Outdoor Adventure” at the final regular season home football game for the Hastings Raiders, my mind seemed to be on constant rewind reminding me of other adventures at Todd Field (at McNamara Stadium). A few of those adventures will remain in my memory bank as I am not sure what the statute of limitations is on certain misdemeanor offenses, even if they would be chalked up to being young and short of a better explanation, stupid. Please accept my invitation to take a trip down memory lane. While the Hastings High School “fight song” is borrowed from Notre Dame as many “school songs” are, I instinctively stand up every time I hear it. That was commonplace “back in the day” as a sign of being loyal to your school. Heck, the Beach Boys made a huge chunk of change with “Be True to Your School.” Something I noticed is that this practice does not seem to be as common, at least outside of the student section. I realize times have changed and for some, it is not as easy to get up and down like we used to… Glucosamine is a reality for many. I am kind of wondering if it is still okay to call the “school song” or “rouser” a ‘fight’ song?’ The word fight may be offensive? As music reminds us of days gone by, the school song trips my trigger. Does your school song do the same? I played football up until 9th grade, turning in my equipment a week or so before the end of the freshman season. The fact is, I was a “runt” which Merriam-Webster defines as a person of small stature. Going into sophomore year, I was not yet five feet tall and was still double digits weight wise. I was kind of like the main character from the movie “Rudy” only smaller and less athletic. The head coach at the time was Terry Hartman and he saw the writing on the wall. He knew I loved the game and knew if I continued to play, I just might get killed. He gave me the opportunity to be part of the training crew and I took it. For two years, I was able to cultivate friendships, many that I still have today, be part of the team and partake in many outdoor adventures on the gridiron. Like the infomercials… “but wait, there is more.” Senior year, many of my fellow “band geek” friends suggested that it would be more fun if I were to drop the football trainer gig to jump on the “B’s Band” wagon. For those who remember Mr. Robert Bieraugel, you will agree that he was the original “The Man, The Myth, The Legend.” He was not just a band teacher, he was one of those teachers that leave a mark on you for life, and not just by tossing a drum stick your way when you were not paying attention. We would march “Big 10 Style” from what is now the Middle School to the field and while I cannot share specific information about these adventures, there may have been some shenanigans going on during the route. As we entered the field, we would do some cool patterns that would inevitably have us facing the visitor’s section. We would play THEIR fight song for them as a welcome to Hastings. Then we would do a few more patterns and end up facing OUR community and played our song to a standing, singing, and clapping hometown crowd. Of course, we would play the National Anthem as well and then leave the field. Each home game, we did a different field show and at homecoming, we marched to form a heart and played “Let Me Call You Sweetheart” for the King and Queen. So many memories. Have I tweaked your memory bank at all? I hope so. The experiences we have, and specifically regarding our “Outdoor Adventures” certainly hold great value for us, however, the memories, for as long as we can hold on to them, could be just as important. A high school football game in Minnesota consists of four 12-minute quarters and a 20-minute half-time. With timeouts and other potential delays, it still only lasts about two hours. The memories for many can last a lifetime. Get Out and Enjoy the Great Outdoors… and make some new memories.