Chuck Brooks' column: RHS football generates excitement
Many of you may not be privy to what has been going on in this community in the past couple of months and more specifically, the past couple of weeks. If that’s true, it’s a shame. To be out of the loop with this would be unfortunate. It happens all around the country, but when it happens here, it’s special because we’re still “little Rosemount.”
I’m talking about the school’s football success. It’s been drumming up more excitement than the oncoming holiday with its vacation days. The kids are pumped. The adults, if you run into them in the community, are pumped. The school is bursting at its seams with pride and excitement.
I wasn’t at the TCF Bank Stadium game, which for those of you who don’t know, is the Gopher stadium. An outside stadium. It was a cold night. I opted for a warmer climate, but I know many who braved the evening to go into the heart of the city and support the Irish. I know the kids here motivated everyone to wear hunter orange attire. And apparently, there was a massive blob of orange on our side of the stadium. We also had six fan buses with kids go down, as well as four band buses. Our opponent’s side, so I heard, wasn’t represented well. Conse-quently, we could dominate the spirit component of the game that night and we won mightily.
The side benefits from such an evening, however, are many. It will likely take these kids about 15 years to fully appreciate what is happening right now. It’s not very often a community can pull together over a single cause, but this community is definitely enjoying the moment while supporting the kids on the team as well as, in general, the entire school.
When I first arrived here in July of 1982, I remember two things about this city. The first was the beautiful setting of the high school campus. The second was driving through town, my mother and I couldn’t help but notice the old grain and seed building, just on your way out of Rosemount heading towards 42; there was graffiti all over the side of the building about the 1981 State Football Champs. I had just missed the excitement by a year. It was evident other places as well. People were still talking about the success of the team as I moved into my first year of teaching here. I had hoped it would happen again, so I could see what all the excitement was about, but it didn’t that year. Not even close. Nor the year after. Several times in my 32 years we’ve been at this juncture of the season, but we’ve not claimed the big prize since 1981. Obviously, it would be nice this year to do so, but regardless, this team’s success has lifted this burb to new levels of excitement.
And it’s very cool. I’m not sure how one doesn’t get caught up in the hoopla of the excitement. I’m even hearing from alumni regarding the success RHS is experiencing this season. It’s awesome our alumni are still emotionally connected to their alma mater.
I stopped writing this column five words ago. It was the day of the Roseville/Rosemount game at the Dome. It’s now the morning after that game. I attended this game with colleagues. We made a night of it with dinner beforehand. The game didn’t start until 7:15. Penalty flags slowed the pacing of the game. With one more day in the school week, this was bound to take its toll on all of us, win or lose. As you know, we won! Attendance today, or lack thereof, indicates we had a lot of students there last night. I’m sure all the adults who were in attendance are struggling through this day. If the game had been a blowout, it would have been easier on all of us emotionally, but such was not the case. Frankly, folks, I’m dyin’ today myself here!
So for two more weeks, the community of Rosemount, Minn. will pull together only to return to the Dome on the night of Black Friday to take on one of two possible opponents. I saw so many former students last night and so many families in the Dome. A ton of teachers and familiar faces I couldn’t place for my life. What our team doesn’t know yet is, win or lose in two weeks, their efforts have produced a victory for this community. Look around and tell me what’s happening isn’t great for Rosemount on any level. I think a victory or a loss is secondary to what they’ve already given to Rosemount.
Forget the Engine. This year, more than ever, I really believe RHS is truly “The Little School That Could.”