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Used to be, just hearing the band as I walked to the football field was enough to get me going. This began the highlight of the entire week.

Then there was the sight of so many people -- all the kids from school, some of our teachers, the mayor and the people who lived next door. This marked the social event of the week.

There was the smell of popcorn, and the aroma of hot dogs and hot chocolate. The cheerleaders tossed out those little footballs that advertised Jim Mears' insurance agency. The national anthem sent chills down my spine.

Then the game finally started. I devoured every second of the action because Friday night was made for football.

Used to be, this was some really good stuff.

Hmm. Funny I would say it that way, because there's another reality.

It still is.

There is something ominus about the bright lights under a harvest moon. There is something magical about the sound of a game announcer declaring a Wildcat touchdown. There is something prideful about red and black uniforms, especially when they're thumping an opponent.

We were Once A Wildcat. And because of the thrill of Football Friday Nights, we will be Always A Wildcat. Sounds like the makings of a really good book idea, huh?

Jack Manning and Diane Huffman thought so. Their story is our story.

The story that once was.

And still is.

Go 'Cats!

By Jeff Kirby
Author "Once A Wildcat, Always A Wildcat"
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