Are You a Cavalier?
High school football in the South always carries a certain kind of reverence.
But it’s different when your kid is involved.
Of course, mine aren’t old enough for high school sports. But we got a little taste of it last night when my daughter, a student at St. Joseph’s School, and her cheerleading squad got to cheer with the varsity ladies of Mount de Sales Academy.
Yes, we already had cheered two games earlier in that week for the boys in her school, they have junior football teams, but this was different.
To top it off- they were playing against Stratford. A rival since the 80’s.
The same school where LK’s father’s jersey was retired. Where his own uncle’s jersey was retired. His family had nearly 50 years of cheering for the opposite team in their background. (Not as much of a factor was the fact that I had also gone to Stratford, although I graduated from Westside after spending my last 2 years of high school there. And that my mother taught there for many years.)
But then again, my father attended Mount de Sales along with his sisters and brother. One of his sisters is even in their Hall of Fame for her basketball exploits.
In fact, upon leaving Stratford- even though I went to public schools- I visited friends at MdS. Started going to their basketball and soccer games. Made a ton of friends there.
It was like a strange homecoming- the sounds of the band on the other side of the field were hauntingly familiar. Songs I had heard at nearly 12 years of football games. Some of those same songs are played at Mercer games, which I attend with more frequency of late.
Little LK asked her daddy at one point who he would cheer for? She understood it was his old team she was cheering against.
But he told her he would cheer for whichever school she was cheering for, and her little face begat a smile.
The MdS cheerleaders were gracious in their approach with the girls. Switching pom poms with them, helping them do stunts, showing them their routines, and cheering the cheers the little girls knew along with their own.
I know my daughter will never forget it, and her first love of something athletic is now forever instilled.
So when LK or B are asked, are you a Cavalier? They can say yes, and we will be for a long time.
Love to all y’all,
Molly McWilliams Wilkins
Molly McWilliams Wilkins is a Southern culture commentator, web producer, and social media marketing maven. She is also a freelance writer who has worked with a variety of publications and online magazines including Bourbon & Boots, Paste Magazine, Macon Magazine, the 11th Hour, Macon Food & Culture Magazine, and as the Digital Content Editor for The Southern Weekend. Mommy first, fashionista, social media maven, writer, artist, dreamer and poet. Hangs on to her Oxford Commas by force. Addicted to shoes and purses- and lots of coffee. Coffee coffee coffee.