December 2018 Editorial Winner

AHS Tigers and tremendous season; school spirit, pride reach new levels
Kim Benedict, The Ardmoreite

School spirit is a nebulous thing. It ebbs and flows with the personalities of a school’s staff and students. It ebbs and flows with the success of sports teams, academic teams, and other extra curricular activities.
But at a certain ebb point it’s tough to bring back.
Ardmore City Schools’ population, with community support, has brought it back.
The last several years, with changes in key administration and commitment from staff and students, ACS has accomplished a school spirit turnaround. Winning sports teams are certainly one impetus, but that alone isn’t the only difference.
The second annual Ardmore City Schools Homecoming Parade was a great success with both spectators and participants. The brainchild of Ardmore High School student council advisor and Family and Consumer Sciences teacher Robert McGeehee, the parade returned to the streets of Ardmore in 2017 after a decades-long hiatus. McGeehee, with help from the ACS administration, staff and community members, executed a big step towards resurgence of school spirit.
And while internally the changes have been noticeable and growing, the community support of the Tigers’ football team winning season and trek to Edmond was highly visible. As the Tigers gained momentum with a winning streak, the fan base at games swelled. The number of empty seats dwindled. And even as the Tigers took to the road for playoff games, the fan base stood fast. Tiger pride was evident in the thousands of fans in the stands at Western Heights a week ago Friday. ‘Go Tigers, Take State’ was the mantra on local business marquees and stand-alone signs as well.
Ardmore buses and cars hit the Interstate on Friday as the Tigers made the ultimate journey to the state finals destination – Santa Fe Edmond High School. The stands were full and seats were hard to find. Rain and wind pelted the field and fans held fast.
To say the night was challenging is an understatement. After several weather delays, the stadium lights going out and the challenge of holding off the number one team in the state, the Tigers experienced their only loss in an exceptional season.
But even though they didn’t bring the gold football home, they’ve left a more lasting legacy. They helped galvanize a new era of school spirit that includes family, friends and community. They were players in the resurgence of visible and vocal pride in attending AHS. The movement was already in the works and was supported and embraced by school and community, but the Tigers’ winning season was the tipping point for cementing the change.
Congratulations to the Ardmore Tigers and to all of the supporting players – coaches, cheer and pom squads, band, ACS administration and staff, parents, family and community members – for a great season.
Football season may be over but school spirit and pride should continue to grow.
Hear those Tigers roar!

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