Faced with a bit of anthem adversity last week, two high school football teams sparked a swell of patriot pride at Eagles Stadium in Crowley, Texas.
Inclement weather had put a damper on last Thursday night’s game between the Granbury Pirates and the Crowley Eagles, KXAS-TV in Fort Worth reported, forcing the teams to reschedule their showdown for the following evening.
But this minor scheduling change managed to prove itself more than just a minor hiccup, preventing an appearance from either school’s pep band and depriving students and fans of a time-honored tradition: the pregame presentation of America’s colors.
Or it might have, were it not for some quick thinking from the sidelines.
Despite a series of on-field announcements that the national anthem would not be played to kick off the night’s event, hands shot to the hearts of visiting Granbury as echoes of “The Star-Spangled Banner” rose from the field.
Before long, Crowley’s sideline had joined in, along with the fan section.
The Eagles would go on to best Granbury in a 35-34 nail-biter as Crowley defensive back Xavier Goynes stopped a 2-point conversion try with 54 seconds left in the game, according to the Fort Worth Star-Telegram.
Goynes stops conversion try as Crowley withstands furious Granbury rally https://t.co/BjZDumk9LG
— Fort Worth Star-Telegram (@startelegram) October 12, 2019
The result would be overshadowed, however, by the teams’ touching pregame display of patriotism — which would immediately become a point of local pride.
“We could not be more proud of our young men and what they represented,” KXAS viewer Tracy Deason said.
And this was hardly the first display of patriotic fervor at a youth athletic event in recent memory.
Last month, a North Caroline high school football player went viral when a teacher caught him on video headed to the field late for a game.
The moment the national anthem began playing, however, the unnamed student stopped dead in his tracks in the middle of the parking lot to salute the flag.
Even before that in March, a high school wrestler shocked social media users nationwide when video surfaced of a rousing anthem rendition he gave when the school was strapped for an anthem singer prior to a wrestling meet.
With years of nationwide controversy surrounding American athletes’ decisions to disrespect the presentation of the colors by kneeling during the anthem to bring attention to political causes and social injustice, it seems young Americans are even more empowered to salute the flag than ever before.
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