Flying High Over High School Football
Monday, September 19, 2011 - 01:04 AM
The sky was a bright blue, a slight chill tinged the air, and it seemed in every way to be a perfect day for what students, parents and teachers had come out for on Saturday: high school football.
Even the New York City schools chancellor, Dennis M. Walcott, was in the bleachers at Campus Magnet football field in Cambria Heights, Queens, as the Fort Hamilton High School Tigers of Brooklyn pushed past the Bulldogs of Mathematics, Science Research and Technology Magnet High School of Queens to clinch a 30-21 victory.
While the players clashed, and the cheerleaders chanted, it was a group of about 15 parents who seemed to own the roar.
With five minutes left in the game, Janet Reid scrambled from her seat and threw her arms around a fellow parent as the Tigers scored a 30-yard touchdown.
“C’mon y’all, c’mon baby!” shouted Nadine Darden, 32, of East New York, Brooklyn, as her son Robert Thomas, 16, a senior at Fort Hamilton, was caught in a tangled mass of arms and legs.
“I haven’t missed a game since he was 7,” she said. “And I’ll still be coming next year; I still have boys to look after. My job is never done.”
Moments later, the stands erupted again as the game ended with the Tigers’ win. Ms. Reid, 52, of Crown Heights, Brooklyn, cheered, and Lamont Williams, 44, of Fort Hamilton, yelled: “Let’s go, Tigers! Yankee Stadium, here we come!”
Last December, the Tigers won the New York Public School Athletic League football championship, beating the Lincoln High School Railsplitters in the first high school football game played at the new Yankee Stadium.
Guy Glabman of Long Beach, N.Y., who teaches social studies at Campus Magnet, said his students played well and “hung in there” despite a tough go against “the city champs.”
When the game finished, Asante Mercer, 17, a Campus Magnet senior, lowered her pompoms, packed up her cheerleading gear and seemed to have already moved on from the day’s defeat.
“It’s O.K,” Ms. Mercer said. “We’re going to get them next time.”