Opening night impressive to a newcomer

By DON WALLACE, News-Telegram Sports Editor

Aug. 31, 2008 - This was a show worth seeing.

I've been to thousands of movies and more than 200 football games over the year.

But the Sulphur Springs-Paris game played Friday at Gerald Prim was something to behold.

Not only did the home team 48-20, but it was an entertaining event.

This was my first game in Hopkins County, but not my first walk on the green gridiron.

Take it from a guy who was raised near the native stone walls of the Tomato Bowl, it was a fun outing.

My son, a high school sophomore, was remarking about the pre-game festivities. He said it was just like Jacksonville, but the kids get into more. I surely agree with that. I did not see anybody who was not in the football mood and ready to the see boys in blue and gold downing the intruders from the north.

The crowd was big and loud. The band, drill team, cheerleaders, flag team and all involved in the big victory.

I'd had been told earlier by a co-worker than "everyone in town comes the the game." Well he was just about right.

The fight song and alma mater were new to me. But I certainly appreciated the vim and vigor demonstrated by the home crowd.

The Wildcats went 9-2 last year and it just primed the pump for what the folks expect this year.

I predict many more games like the win over Paris. The Wildcats can score, no doubt, they have lots of offensive weapons. The defense will do its part against some high-powered teams.

It's plain to see Sulphur Springs already have legions of loyal fans. That means a lot to a relative newcomer like me. I know it speaks volumes to the players, coaches and people directly involved in the games.

So mighty Wildcat fans, I tip my hat to you for putting on such a good showing at the first home game of the year. It's going to be a tough act to follow, but since the next game will be on ESPN2 and surrounded by hoopla, I am sure you will find a way.

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