December 15, 2010 - Olivia Shumaker
Special to the Review
Singer Kenny Chesney's The Boys of Fall begins "When I feel that chill, smell that fresh cut grass/ I'm back in my helmet, cleats, and shoulder pads."
While the chills of fall and smell of fresh cut grass may not bring the citizens of Lake Orion into the mind of a football player, they do remind us of our own boys of fall: recent Division One state champions, the Lake Orion High School Dragons.
It reminds us of what they have done, and that -- even though Thanksgiving has come and gone in a blaze of turkey and potatoes -- we have many reasons to be thankful to our boys of fall.
Our dragons have been out giving "every ounce of heart and sweat and blood," as the song goes.
Unknowingly, the dragons have provided the community with something far greater: Unity.
Football games throughout the season, and in particular the final, eventful state championship game, have provided more than a sport venue.
By pushing themselves to work harder and do better, the Dragons, through the progression of games, provided a peak, an ideal around which the citizens of Lake Orion could gather and triumph as a whole.
The games provided a place for old friends and acquaintances to reconnect, and a site for the meeting of new friends.
Friday night football was a chance for the marching band to showcase its prowess, a regular opportunity for the cheerleaders to get cheer time, for the dance team to show the results of practice.
The games, the sales from football victories, in addition to the games themselves, may have provided a small slice of revenue for local businesses.
In a phrase, the games brought total strangers together with the plain, simple fun of the experience.
One fan in blissful moment on championship Saturday turned to another and exclaimed, "This is fun!"
Games gathered people of all interests, pursuits and ideals under one common umbrella: the drive to help our boys of fall win. "Newspaper clippings fill the coffee shops" as Lake Orion watched and cheered one of their many great sources of pride.
Even after football season ended, even after the state championship title, Lake Orion's boys of fall gave their hometown one last reason to be proud, winning the right to walk in the Christmas parade.
"In little towns like mine that's all they've got," Chesney said in his song.
True, Lake Orion is a small town, though the Dragons are not our only point of pride.
Still, as the community rushes forward into the holiday season, Lake Orion should be shamed if we neglected to be thankful to our boys of fall, the dragons, for everything they have done for the community by pouring their hearts into their sport.
After all, "You mess with one man, you've got us all."
So, let us all take a moment, remember the rush of the games and the season, the sound of cheering, the thrill of every touchdown, the joy of our state championship victory, and be thankful to our boys of fall.
Congratulations, Dragon boys of fall, on a job well done.
Olivia Shumaker is a sophomore at Lake Orion High School and an aspiring journalist.