The Press Box: Homecoming Roundup
It was homecoming for Tyler Consolidated this past weekend. Many other area schools have celebrated their homecoming already or will very soon. It is a special time of year when alumni return to visit the campus and current school students mark the traditional occasion by attending a football game and school dance. But before we talk about how homecoming went for the Knights, let’s look at some other “homecomings” and how they played out.
Tampa Bay QB Tom Brady celebrated a homecoming of sorts recently when he and the Buccaneers returned to Foxborough for the first time after Brady left the Patriots in free agency during off season two years ago. This was after Tom had spent 20 highly successful years with the Pats organization gathering six Super Bowls titles, four Super Bowl MVP awards and three NFL MVP awards.
The decision to leave New England ended up being a good one for the quarterback. Brady and the Bucs beat the Kansas City Chiefs in Super Bowl LV, adding number seven to his ring collection and a fifth Super Bowl MVP award. The guy is that good.
The Pats didn’t fare as well when Brady left. They went 7-9 and didn’t make the playoffs for the first time since 2008, which was the season Tom was out all but one game with a torn ACL. But that didn’t dampen the welcome home Brady received from Patriot fans. He was greeted by loud cheers throughout Gillette Stadium when he emerged with his teammates from the locker room. Chants of “Brady, Brady!” could be heard on videos shared on social media by press members and fans that were at the game. I have to believe Tom appreciated the warm reception.
Let’s turn to college homecomings. If you don’t understand the importance at a college level, let me spell it out. Schedulers try to set up an expected win for the homecoming game because well-to-do alumni along with their full wallets will be attending. Delivering the expected “W” makes it more likely those wallets will stay open. Sadly for WVU and Coach Neal Brown the 2021 homecoming game against Texas Tech ended on a sour note in a 28-20 loss. Don’t get me wrong, I like Coach Brown. He seems like a good guy and family man, but he is in his third season and the expectation was the climb would continue. After the beat down suffered by the Baylor Bears Saturday and a bye week coming up, its time Coach Brown dismantle the offense. Leddie Brown has a mere 422 yards to date.
There was a time a 1000 yard rusher at WVU was the norm, but no longer. The Mountaineers need to re-establish themselves following the bye week because a tough schedule looms ahead. Our chances for a bowl game will depend on how we face adversity and overcome.
Let’s circle back to where we started. Tyler Consolidated High School’s 2021 Homecoming was everything you could hope it to be. Not only do the Knights play in a fabulous facility, the tree lined setting on State Route 18 is especially picturesque during the fall.
A packed house turned out to support the Silver Knights football team, the award winning TCHS Marching Band and the half time crowning of the homecoming court.
The football team did their part soundly defeating the Buffalo Bisons by a score of 35-0, while the Pride of Tyler County performed a fabulous half-time show. The band was assisted by alumni members performing both pregame and halftime. The highlight of the night was the crowning of Homecoming Queen Romona Rice by last year’s queen Sadie Nicholas. The weekend festivities continued into Saturday night as many students and their friends and family gathered for picture taking prior to the dance. As an added precaution to safety the dance was held outdoors under a large white tent in the parking lot adjacent to the stadium.
I want to close with a mention about the students of Tyler County who attended high school before 1993. For these returning alumni there is no high school to welcome them back for homecoming. There is no campus to visit and tell the stories of your great accolades on and off the ball fields to your children and grandchildren. Both Tyler County High School and Sistersville High School lost their identity when the two were joined to become Tyler Consolidated. Was it the right decision almost 30 years ago now? Of course. We can offer so much more to today’s students by joining forces, but don’t dismiss the feelings of those that were adversely affected.
I bring this point up to remind both communities of the importance of your Sistersville High School and Tyler County High School alumni associations. These are the groups that can incorporate and include the current graduating classes from Tyler Consolidated High School. We want and need these fresh young minds to join and propel our historic alumni associations into the future. It is their energy and insight that will guide the choices made to allow graduating members the opportunity to stay connected to their school and community long after they leave the campus. So until then, welcome home, alumni!