Good day to escape Russell

Russell High School is celebrating homecoming today.

Oh boy.

This seems like a great day to get out of dodge, and I am.

Kansas City, here I come.

I have never cared for homecoming in a small town, and I never will.

The first big event is the parade through downtown starting at 2:30.

Parade? I saw too many of them growing up in New Orleans. If you’ve seen Rex once, you’ve seen it plenty. If you’ve seen Endymion once, you’re set for life. If you’ve seen Bacchus once, I question your sanity. I should have stopped going to parades many years before I actually did. I only went to Thoth in 1993 and ’94 because I knew plenty of krewe members. And Thoth takes a unique route, so standing on the corner of Henry Clay and Tchoupitoulas was worth it, compared to some place on St. Charles Avenue.

The homecoming court is presented BEFORE the game, unlike most schools in Louisiana, which do so at halftime.

To me, that’s a very bad way to do it. It forces both teams to warm up on the practice field to the north of the stadium, and at Russell, that is an especially bad deal. Russell has artificial turf, and most teams which visit Shaffer Field are not used to playing on it.

I can’t understand for the life of me why Russell and other schools around here can’t present the court at halftime and extend the intermission by five minutes. It wouldn’t inconvenience anyone.

Smith Center has a better plan. It names the king and queen at a school ceremony in the afternoon, and simply presents the court before the game after both teams are done warming up. The court walks along the sideline and doesn’t get in the way. Problem solved.

I believe Russell has too many people on its homecoming court. Does it really need eight “attendants”?

When I covered high school football in Louisiana, I was not a big fan of homecoming games. Halftime in those cases was 25 minutes instead of 15, and it sometimes pushed me pretty close to my deadline.

One time, I covered a homecoming game at West Feliciana which was played in a driving rainstorm, and halftime lasted 35 minutes. Worse, there was no phone line, so I had to dictate my story. The bad night culminated having to drive down narrow US 61. I nearly spun out at Thompson Creek. Today that isn’t a problem, as 61 is four-laned to Natchez.

I thought about going to Russell’s game this evening vs. Republic County, but I’ll pass. Today is such a nice day I might as well make the four-hour trip east on I-70. It will allow me to get a good amount of sleep for tomorrow, since I’m planning to be there at opening. LSU isn’t playing, but the Kansas Jayhawks are. Good for some laughs.

About David

I am a sportswriter for a group of weekly newspapers in small towns across northern Kansas. I grew up in New Orleans, went to college at LSU and wandered in the wilderness until Hurricane Katrina finally put me on the path to my current job.

Posted on October 7, 2016, in High School Football, Russell HS. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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