Friday night lights are as bright as ever…for me at least

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By Matthew Fan, Co-Opinion-Editor

The stands at Teamer Field begin to fill relatively quickly. First comes the marching band, followed by the parents and other community members. Then the students start filing into the Pit — fashionably late of course. By the end of the first quarter, the stands are completely full and the crowd is boisterous. It’s Friday Night Lights, our first home football game of the 2019 season.

Everyone knows our football team isn’t the best. In its last three seasons, the team has only won five games out of 30. The week before, Owen J. Roberts’ football team beat our team commandingly at 28-0.

Why are people still watching the games? What’s the point of coming if you know the team is most likely going to lose?

It’s no surprise that the players’ parents come and watch. For students, perhaps they are still grasping on to the hope that the football team may win. Perhaps their loyalty to Conestoga is what keeps them on their feet cheering at every game.

Conestoga fans probably have faith that the underdog will come out on top once in a while. We saw it with the Eagles in Super Bowl LII, so there must be a chance it happens with our team. To be honest, I find myself jumping up and down and clapping my hands enthusiastically whenever our football team scores — even if we may be losing by a lot. I can’t help it. Conestoga’s my heart, and the only thing it’s pumping out is ’Stoga pride.

I’d like to think that I would go watch every football game voluntarily, but realistically, if I weren’t in marching band, I probably would never have watched a single one. But as my last year in marching band comes closer to the end, I have realized it’s the environment that makes me look forward to every Friday night during the football season.

I go to the games because of the adrenaline rush — playing “Rocky” as the football team crashes through the cheerleaders’ banner, blasting stands tunes and dancing to drum cadences, and marching onto the field as the crowd cheers and the announcer emphatically says, “The Conestoga High School Marching Pioneers!”

The unique blend of rivalry and camaraderie at Conestoga football games is unmatched. I can’t help but think of the game against Ridley earlier this season. During halftime, I walked in front of the Ridley student section with a couple of my friends. Immediately, we received showers of unified chants of “get back to your own side” and various obscenities. However, when we talked with some of Ridley’s band members, they complimented us on our show and joined in on some of our dances.

Each week brings a new football team and a new student section, another culture to interact with (or rather, rival with). That is what entices me to watch the football games, whether we win or not.