A Project for Better Journalism chapter
Sports

The Last Time We Were Football Conference Champions…

Your alarm clock blares in your ear and it takes all of your will not punch it into pieces. Slowly and painfully, you raise yourself from your bed full of old beanie babies and head into the kitchen where you pour yourself a bowl of Oreo O’s and start to chow down, contemplating how you were going to get through the school day as President Clinton’s voice dripped from the radio next to the wall.

It wasn’t until then that you realized what day it was: Friday. Game day.

You bolt out of your seat and run to your closet to look for the best purple and gold ensemble that you have. After about a half an hour, your take a look at your handiwork in the mirror: Cargo pants. Thick, yellow belt. White long-sleeved shirt. Baggy, purple tee. Air Jordans.

But you can’t share your outfit on Instagram, and there would be no Snapchat footage of the game later. There would be no Twitter posts about the scores tomorrow, and Facebook moms wouldn’t share how proud they were of their players in the coming days. Only the people you see in person will view your look, unless someone snaps a photo for the yearbook.

That day, classes whip past you in a flurry of anxiety, and, by the time lunch rolls around, the L-Room is as chaotic and excited as you’ve ever seen it. Your fellow seniors seem to be louder than usual, and all anyone can talk about is the game.

You didn’t know it at the time, but you would be watching a historic event that evening; fall 2019 was the last time that the Lakewood Rangers were varsity football conference champions .

Looking back on it now, it is difficult to believe how much has changed—many teachers from back then are long gone, and yearbook adviser Dennis Ebner had a little bit of hair. Columbine was fresh in everyone’s minds. iPods did not exist, let alone iPhones. The L-Room was alive and well. People used Internet Explorer. Teens could not get enough of the Backstreet Boys or Usher or ‘N Sync. Same-sex marriage was not legal across the nation.

But one thing has not changed in the past 20 years: Ranger spirit. So, if we keep on supporting our 2019 football team, who knows? Maybe someone in 2039 will be writing about 2019, the best year of Ranger football in 20 years.

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