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Today, I Went Back to 1999

Isn’t funny how a song, a movie or a picture can take you back. And, I mean really back…even years. Well, today, flipping through the channels, I had one of those moments… Varsity Blues was on and there I was, fall of 1999… Friday afternoon pep-rally in my cheerleading uniform.

It’s funny how when you’re in high school you don’t really understand how important those four years will be. (But, then again, I guess that could go for anytime in our lives.) It’s takes a while to fully appreciate our experiences and how much of an impact they make in our lives.

I’m sure this will come as no shock to y’all (ha!), but I was a cheerleader from the seventh grade thru my senior year in high school. (Go Big Red!!) And I LOVED it!! Being from Mayfield, I was raised on football!! “Tradition Never Graduates” was on at least one t-shirt per athletic year! And, I truly still believe that! When we made it to the state tournament, which was often, the town shut down. And, Cardinal nation was in full force! And what a force that was…

See, Varsity Blues came out in 1999. I graduated in May of 2000, so watching the movie, I felt like I was living it. My senior year, my boyfriend was not only one of my best friends, but he was the quarterback (Shut up Chad!! I hear your comments already! Ha!), and most of my friends were involved somewhat in the football program, from the team, to managers, fellow cheerleaders,  band, media and hard-core fans!! So, when I caught the last hour of Varsity Blues today….all of that emotion flooded back. The way it felt to run on the field, the nervousness of singing the national anthem; not only in front of my friends, but as a representation of my school, the cockiness when walking past the opponents, the excitement from leading our fans to “Mayfield!! Mayfield!!”, but mostly… I felt pride. 

Reciting just about every line, I instantly text one of my best friends now and well, from forever, Lindsay. She, of course turned it on too! We went back and forth about the movie and  instantly felt like I was 17 again.(PS…Paul Walker really is super hot!!)  Of course, I cried….and called my ex-boyfriend, just to tell him how proud of him I was for the person he was all the way back then. Hey…it still feels good to hear that, even after 10 years! The last game of the year, we all cried….and now I know why. It wasn’t because that game was over or that  it was time for basketball to start (not a basketball school, haha)…. it was because it was the end of that chapter in our lives. Never again would I fill cups of candy for the players, dance to the fight song or watch my boys run thru the tunnel of War Memorial Stadium. I wouldn’t get to see Clif, break his collarbone just to keep on playing, until they made him go to the hospital. I’d never get to give Trey a running hug after the game and then complain because he was stinky! This was the last time my cheerleading girls and I would get to yell, “You wish you were a Cardinal!!” and REALLY mean it. In just 12 short months, those jersey numbers, pom-poms and band uniforms that made history and memories that will last forever, were given to Freshmen. And, someone else’s future memories began.

So, on a random Sunday, I was quickly taken back to the “Glory Days”.  Writing this, I’m still crying, ha! Not because I’m sad that it’s gone, but that I’m thankful I had the experience.

I still refer to my friend Ryan as “Kicker”, although he hasn’t kicked a football in years… Clif will always be the only #88 I know…and Trey will forever be the “BMOC”…. but, most importantly, I will always have the memories of being a Mayfield Cardinal. (PS…Trey, you’re never getting your jersey back!)

This past December, my Mayfield Cardinals won the Single A State Championship!! At the end of the game, the Senior quarterback placed the ball into his Freshman brother’s hands to take the field. The legacy was literally passed right there. These boys just happened to be a few of the kids that I used to babysit in high school. When my Mom called me to tell me about it, we were both crying. I will forever be a Cardinal and so proud of it!

So, I hope that someday soon…you can have your moment. Maybe it was band, FFA, drama…whatever it was, let’s never forget that feeling we get when that one song, movie or picture has the ability to bring it all back.

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