Last Friday evening was a night I had been dreading for a couple of years...in fact, I remember taking pictures of the parents, athletes, cheerleaders and band members last year as they walked out of the Pirate tunnel and I looked at my fellow photographer friend and said, "I can't believe this will be us next year!" I remember my eyes welled with tears as I told myself how quickly the next 365 days would pass. Boy, was I more right than I could have ever imagined. It seems like school just started two weeks ago and now we are already on the final week of the regular season. It's not just going quickly; it's flying.
I woke up Saturday morning to feel like I had been punched in the gut. Not only had I watched those senior football players, trainers, cheerleaders and band members take the Pirate field for the last time but they all had to experience a loss during that last home game. The loss didn't change anything for the Pirates and the path they will take in the playoffs but it was still a tough blow on an already emotional night. The Pirates played hard up until the last play of the game and still walked off the field with a 35-30 loss to a very good Monterey football team. The Plainsmen played well and deserved the win, no doubt but it didn't help the frustration I had when I read some of the comments and posts on social media.
"Anyone but Cooper!" one poster said.
"So glad Cooper lost...they are so entitled!" said another.
"I hope Cooper loses every single game from here on out!" came from yet another.
These remarks came from grown adults, not kids. I was so disappointed to see some people using comments such as these when referring to a community of kiddos. These LCP athletes sacrifice blood, sweat and tears just like every other kid in this area and around the country. Is it really fair to root against a kid because of where they come from? I think most of you know the answer to that.
As you scroll through the images and see their excitement, their hard fight, their tears, I hope each of you will remember these are just a bunch of kids. A bunch of kids with emotions and feelings who have no say in which school they attend. A bunch of kids who don't want to hear negativity from adults they have never met. A bunch of kids preparing to transition from Friday Night Lights to college life. Although an exciting time, it's also a very emotional and apprehensive time for these kids. If you don't want a team in this area to win just because of who they are, keep it to yourself. You aren't setting a good example for your kids and the people reading your posts and comments and it's really unnecessary.
Keep your heads up, Pirates! Word on the street is you guys will be taking the field at Pirate Stadium one last time next Friday night in bi-district play. And I, personally, will be rooting for every single team in the Lubbock area as they begin post-season play. Best of luck to the Lubbock Cooper Pirates and all of the teams around the area!