Now we come to the latest chapter of Clinton High School football.
It happened last Thursday, when the savior of the program, Randy McKamey, proved that he is, no matter what accolades sideline pundits put upon his shoulders, is just a man doing the best he can do.
The 2019 edition of the Clinton High School Dragons made a cameo appearance last Thursday in a controlled scrimmage — I’m not sure what that means exactly — but there were early whistles, just as there was rockem sockem’ robot action.
The Coach said he’d let them play and he did, to an extent.
I liked what I saw, although it was very limited and “low key.”
I belong to that old school faction that says there is no cheering in the press box.
For me, it’s crude to do so. I think the fellow who thought this up probably followed my beloved White Sox during the team’s “down” years.
What do I know?
I think that saying dates back to the First Battle of Bull Run.
Okay, back to football.
Or, back to Clinton High School football.
It’s been so long that anyone has taken notice of this program that it seems the Andy Shattuck era was like a mirage.
Did we see that?
Did it really happen?
And while we like to blame to others for our children’s lack of coordination and overall athletic ability It’s always a coach’s fault), we have high expectations.
And then there is that steadfast cadre of professionals dedicated to make low expatations turn around and bite somebody in the buttocks.
Folks, we live in the south.
Tennessee is, by a northern boy raised, “The South.”
Football is king and everything else is … Well, everything else.
No offense Chris Lockard.
But you know what I mean.
Clinton High School is haunted by a group of men (and I mean, MEN) who played for the Orange and Black way back when.
Those teams upheld the honor of Clinton — the city— and the credo seemed to be “god*…. we won a war and we will kick the s*** out of you.”
And they did.
But Clinton High School, as well as the Dragons’ arch rivals and “bitter” rivals (Oak Ridge High School and Anderson County High School) have something in common: Academics
You know that that leaves for rah-rahing?
If all county schools are parking it outside the fence via academics and career opportunities for graduates, what does that leave to rrot for?
Sorry, but one school saying they have more graduates with college credits than another high school; or a cheer of “we have more scholarships than you” just doesn’t quite do it.
It’s an old argument:
Firefighters, cops, and teachers should be rewarded more (monetarily) than professional athletes.
And athletes, professional entertainers, make obscne amounts of cash.
Academics just aren’t … Sexy.
Put an honor student in an athletic venue where they do well, and I promise they will be remembered for touchdowns, spikes, points scored, batting average, and high fives.
And who cares what an SAT or any other test says.
That kid can tackle (or block, or throw, or … Whatvever) so they deserve to play college ball. Sorry, I get sidetracked easily.
Nobody “deserves” anything. You earn it. And that’s not just sports. That’s life.
I applaud Randy McKamey for reminding his team that they have responsibilities, expectations as Dragons.
Most of those expectations have nothing to do with football. They have everything to do with life.
So, there’s my answer.
In my own rambling kinda way.