Wildcat fever

Thursday, September 16, 2010

I have a confession to make. I've never been a huge football fan. Growing up my dad and brother loved the sport, so I often found myself at St. Louis Cardinal football games with the family. I also attended all the Clayton High School football games to cheer on my friends who played, and in college, Mizzou football games were the social event of the week. But despite all this exposure to America's favorite sport, the appeal of the game was lost on me.

And while I may never understand the intricacies of the sport, I have learned one very important thing about football in the past two years -- football has the power to unite people together behind their favorite teams. Nowhere has this phenomenom been more apparent than right here in Cassville.

When you drive into town from any direction, you can't miss the fact that you're entering a city whose football team has won back-to-back state football championships. Signs touting that accomplishment have been erected on all routes leading into Cassville. There's a big billboard on Highway 37 and smaller signs posted on the state's bright green population signs on Business 37 and Highway 112. These signs were made possible thanks to donations from area businesses and boosters who are extremely proud of their Wildcats.

With all its recent success, Cassville has emerged as a football powerhouse in the state of Missouri, and the huge contingent of fans from Cassville who follow their beloved football team are now referred to as The Wildcat Nation. Each week, whether home or away, Cassville fans pack the stadiums wherever the Wildcats are playing. It's not uncommon for Cassville to have more fans show up than the home team. This tremendous support testifies to the pride area residents have for their team and their town.

If you haven't been to a Cassville football game in awhile, you might want to make the trip to Wildcat stadium on Friday, Sept. 24 when the Wildcats face off against Mt. Vernon in their next home game of the season. There's only three home games left, so don't miss your chance to see the Wildcats in action and experience the excitement for yourself. I have no doubt you'll come away from the game with a renewed pride in Cassville Schools, its young athletes and the community that offers such overwhelming support. It's been said over and over, but it bears repeating: It's a GREAT time to be a WILDCAT.

Note: And while football is king around here these days, it's important to mention that all our school sports and activities deserve support. I am never prouder of our community than when I am out and about covering various sporting events and school activities. Our young people never cease to amaze me and they always make me proud to call Cassville home.

Lisa Schlichtman