By Dency McClure
We have driven through Evant many times but never covered a game there. It was exciting getting to go to a new place. Small towns and schools are similar in many ways, but they all have their own unique traditions and culture. Evant did not fail to impress on the unique level.
As soon as we arrived, we were greeted by the field dog. A very happy, healthy puppy full of love. I was told by the coaches that I was in for it now because I had shown him attention and petted him. They told me I’d have a hard time getting him to stop following me. They also told me he practices with the team and often rolls around on the freshly painted field lines. I had to chuckle a bit, but in all seriousness I can see some of the issues he could cause. Everyone seems to know the friendly field dog, and he never set foot on the field once the game started. All the fans kept him happy and away from the active game.
We had a nice visit with the coaches from both teams, and then I found my way to the concession stand. I enjoyed standing in the smoke of the hamburger grill and visiting with the ladies cooking. There is nothing quite like the smell of burgers cooking on an open grill.
Goats and a rooster made for the perfect background music while at the beautiful stadium on the edge of town. I noticed some of the kids on the visitor side playing along the fence with the goats. I have to admit, I took a few pictures of the beautiful goats by the entrance to the stadium. I wasn’t all that interested in the goats, sheep, and pigs until my daughter started showing pigs. Something about spending long days in show barns and seeing the love the kids and animals have for each other changes your entire perspective. Almost enough to deal with the smell. Notice I said “almost.”
I was eyeing the stadium when I spied a cannon by the flagpole and thought to myself that will make a cool photo. Once I got close to the cannon and realized there was protective ear wear on it I got super excited. They were going to fire this thing!!!! What? No way! I’ve seen all kinds of horns and bells but NEVER a cannon at a game. Once I saw Shane Belanger over by the cannon, I was there. I asked him all kinds of questions and of course one of them was asking if he would do an interview. He was very nice and answered all my questions and did an interview on video telling everyone all about the Evant cannon from how it came to be to how to fire it. I love they have a Cannon Crew made up of students Buddy Lewis and Brandon Quave.
I did my normal photos of the run through and found yet another unique point of interest. One of the Evant tunnel sponsors was the United Methodist Church. Often times businesses sponsor items, but I was impressed to see a church sponsorship.
As the game was about to get under way, the Evant Cheerleaders gave me a big ribbon to wear. I haven’t worn a football ribbon in a very long time. It was a nice surprise and fun to wear. I also scored a photo with the Lometa Hornet! Bobbie and I both enjoy the mascots and getting our photo with them.
Some of the cheer squad from Evant were missing as they had already left to prepare to participate in the state cross country competition which would be taking place in the morning. The Lometa quarterback and kicker who played in the game also competed at state cross country. I love that 1A kids are able to participate and enjoy so many different activities and sports.
As the game got under way, I quickly realized how entertaining the Evant announcer can be. He kept us all in stitches most of the game. He mentioned to look out for the extension cord they had run to the press box for a ladies’ electric blanket. He also mentioned that the deer hunting in the area near the football field might not be too good after the cannon fired several times. There are too many great ones to mention here you will just have to attend a game he is announcing at to get the full show.
The refs were like none I had seen before. I’m not sure I’ve ever seen that much yellow laundry hit the grass in one game. The coaches on both teams were asking for explanations on calls all night. Many questions went unanswered and one call was on the ball carrier for holding in the back. I think we were all a bit lost and confused, but the game went on.
The cannon fired with every Evant touchdown and extra points scored. I can now add the sound, smell, and vision of the cannon firing to my repertoire of football game memories. Lots of my photos will have hamburger grill and cannon smoke in them. I’ll let you decide which it is and if you become hungry or nostalgic when looking through them.
See you on the sidelines!