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To a football fan, Anderson's band is tops

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Crowds at high school football a reflection on community

By John Herndon

If there is a better high school band at football games than Anderson County's has been the last few years, I would like to see it.


I know what the results of the state contest were several weeks ago. The Anderson band qualified for the state, but not for the finals. The judges said at least four other bands in the same classification performed better that day.
Don't know about that. I wasn't there and if I had been, I wouldn't know a C-sharp from an H-dull, or whatever it is they call those musical notes. My musical knowledge is pretty much summed up in saying there are everyday legends and there is Johnny Cash.
But what I also know is that the Anderson band, under the direction of Patrick Brady, is as much a part of the action as any you will see these days.
The kids in the band rock. They boogie. And they get the crowd worked up.
Don't believe me? Ask Anderson football coach Mark Peach.
“They are awesome,” he said after his team had dispatched of Louisville Waggener.
Temperature got you down? Hang around this bunch a while and you will warm up with some rockin' tune.
Want to celebrate a sure win a few moments before the final horn sounds? Join the Marching Bearcats as they resurrect the memory of Steam. You remember that 60's group don't you? If not, just pay attention.
Sha na na na
Sha na na na
Hey, hey. Good-bye.
Hadn't heard that one away from March for a long time, if ever, but it rocked Friday night.
It is just part of Friday night. While band is technically an academic subject with an extra-curricular element added in, it is apparent that Brady has unleashed enthusiasm rarely seen in high school bands.
And it helps make Friday nights special in Anderson County.

Diehards rewarded with strong performance
The crowd at the Anderson-Waggener game was WAAAAYYYYYY down from most of the regular season, but that was not unexpected.
Temperaures were expected to drop into the 30s and they did.
It was supposed to drizzle some during the game and it did.
That drizzle could turn to snow and it did, too.
On top of that, Anderson was a heavy favorite over a team that had some marvelous athletes but not very many good football players.
UK basketball on the tube? Sure it hurt the crowd, but for the life of me, I can't understand why. When I saw that the Wildcats were playing Dillard, I didn't know if it was a small college or the pickup team from a department store.
A crowd of about 500 diehards, much lower than packed houses of over 2,000 that were at most home games, braved the elements.
Hopefully things will change Friday when the Bearcats host Bullitt Central. Over the years, I have noted time and again that crowds at high school games – especially in small towns – say something about a community. Towns that tend to be vibrant in many ways show it on Friday nights.
For the most part, Anderson County's crowds are usually much better than most schools. However, for some reason over the last few years, those crowds have been lackluster at a time when they should be the best in the post-season.
Most of all, big crowds at high school football say, “This is our team. These are our boys. We saw them grow up. We go to church with them. We are going to support them.”
The local team will be trying to win two playoff games in the same year, something no other Anderson County team has ever done this Friday night. You can be part of that local history.

Follow John Herndon at Twitter.com/ANewsJPHerndon.