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January 20, 2013

KNISELY: Finding my lost school spirit

— I got quite the introduction to Logansport over the weekend. I went to Saturday’s match-up between the Logansport and Lewis Cass high schools’ boys basketball teams.

This will likely shock many of you and make the rest hang your heads in shame, but it was my first high school basketball game. I’ll pause while you shudder.

...

The group of friends I went with were just as shocked.

“How do you grow up in a small town and not attend a high school basketball game?” was a question I’ve heard more than twice.

There is a litany of reasons why, none of which I’ll bore you with.

What I will tell you is that after watching the students pile into the bleachers directly behind their cheerleaders, I felt as if maybe I missed out on something you can only truly experience as a teenager: school spirit.

Some painted their chests to support their team. Some even brought custom-made, larger-than-life, cardboard cutouts bearing their favorite stars’ faces. They chatted, they screamed, they did some swaying dance as a group under the leadership of the cheerleaders. (It likely has a name, but I’m too old to know what it is.)

In all, they were having a blast and were just plain fun to watch.

But all that paled in comparison to my favorite moment of the evening. Around about the first quarter, making his entrance near the Berries cheering squad, I saw Felix.

In the history of high school mascots, Felix might possibly take the cake as the coolest ever. As soon as I saw him, I wanted my picture taken with him. We were seated in the upstairs bleachers, so I took off for the gym floor in search of Felix. By the time I made it through the crowd, Felix had gone missing. I searched around and came up empty, so I rejoined my group back upstairs. When I got upstairs, I saw Felix again on the gym floor. I swear he was avoiding me.

And while I didn’t get to sit where the cool kids sit and didn’t have my Kodak moment with Felix, I still thoroughly enjoyed the evening.

Channeling my inner teenager, I talked with my gal pals about our latest boy troubles and sang along to the music during timeouts. I cheered at 3-pointers and huffed at questionable calls by the refs.

And much to the chagrin of my friend’s 10-year-old who sat next to me, I even danced along to the band. With his hand covering his face, he begged me to stop. Unfortunately for him, the music must’ve been too loud because I conveniently couldn’t hear him. I was too busy having fun.

I think having my very own giant head, though, would have truly cemented the occasion for me. Maybe I’ll look into that before the next game.

Misty Knisely is managing editor of the Logansport Pharos-Tribune. She can be reached at misty.knisely@pharostribune.com or by calling 574-732-5155.

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