Congratulations to Gainesville High School. The football team, band, coaches, band director and fans deserve a lot of recognition for the great performances I witnessed in Stockbridge last Friday night. What a game! What a team! What a band! This validated for me the old adage, “it is how you play the game that counts.”
And for the band it is, how you play at the game that counts. They played their usual routine with superb execution. My wife and I commented to each other how great they sounded and of course we were moved by the performance in an emotional and spiritual way.
At the end of the first half, Gainesville was down 28-6. Things on the scoreboard looked bleak. But at the end of the halftime show, no one doubted the chances to come back that Gainesville had. And this in great measure can be attributed to the band.
At the end of the standard routine, the band marched up to the bleachers with drums rattling, horns blaring and spirits flying. They stood there and played song after song, fight songs and marching songs. They were jamming. And everyone caught this spirit and the stands began to rock.
I have not seen anything like it in a long time. But we all knew something was changing. We were coming to that turning point which occurs in every heroic endeavor. My wife and I looked at each other and said simultaneously, while trying to define this moment, the word “spirit.”
Even the most stoic among us were unable to resist the effect.
The band had done its job and literally pumped us full of spirit coming from those trombones, trumpets, saxes, flutes and drums. I do not know if they knew what they were doing. But the art and grace of their music had changed destiny.
The results were profound. When our team returned, our fans began to cheer, chant and project that spirit to our warriors. The Red Elephants began to march and virtually owned the second half. Great play after great play, one determined effort after another, an unbelievable run here, a catch off of a tipped ball there, a tackle, a block, a save — these were the results of that spirit that changed the fans and gave the team the boost to play the way it played.
We did not win, but we were victorious. We fought back to a tie in regulation and I believe showed who the best team really was. The Red Elephants were the best team, the best band and the best fans for those 30 minutes of play.
The band and football team are great and need to be recognized. Destiny always wins in the end. But Gainesville High made destiny earn her victory. And the players and the musicians have to know how great they are.
Thanks Gainesville — that was football!