The Press Box For October 14
Most everyone who grew up during the early days at Paden City high school remembers the “Thuse.” It occurred nearly every time there was a sporting event at the school. But, mostly prior to big football games. If the weather was right the school would close down at around 2 p.m. and the entire student body along with all the teachers and coaches would head to the bleachers.
For those who don’t understand, the thuse was short for enthusiasm. The tuse meeting was a tool that the coaches used to get the team fired up for the big game. There was usually three or four pre-selected speakers picked out of the faculty along with a couple of the team captains or other players who had a recent good game.
I’m not sure how they do it now, Maybe they use the same tactic, I don’t know. What I do know is it worked. If anything could get your team to play up to its potential or fire them up to give an extra effort, it was hearing a coach brag about your performance or ability to make the game saving play.
Coaches back in my day were masters at it. They knew the strengths and weaknesses of their athletes and they knew how to get the most out of them. I remember seeing the home side of the field filled with players, cheerleaders, the high school marching band, mascots, team managers and the entire coaching staff. I can still see parents and fans from around the community coming through the gate opening and finding a seat or standing around the fence listening to the speakers and cheering along with the students. I remember listening to the band as they played the Alma Mater and Star Spangled Banner, and then the Wildcat fight song. Those were the great days, when everything that took place centered around the school.
My question is what happened? Why has moral and pride in the community fallen to an all-time low? Where are the adult workers who made sure everything was covered? Where are the athletes? We had the Wildcat mascot in uniform, where is it now? We had other mascots as well, where are they? This year has been a different year due to the COVID-Virus, however something has been missing for a long time.
We are much more divided as a community than I have seen in all my days. There is still a lot of dedicated fans, evidenced by the high school’s last football game this year when they lined the fence in support. Yes they are still out there, but it seems they need a rallying call, a call to duty, a wakeup call, or perhaps a community “Thuse.” I have seen the same in several communities over the past few years. If you’re winning they show up, if you’re a parent you help out, and that’s good. But what we need is full time sold out fans who are willing to follow the direction of school officials. We also need parents who not only reside in Paden City, but send their children to Paden City schools.
Many still hang on to the victories of the past, the achievements from days gone by. There are many stories to be told about the Wildcats,many of us know them, but what we need is to work towards the future before it is gone.
Nothing lasts forever, especially when it’s near the end of it’s worth.
Every small community in the area has experienced the same things I’ve spoken of in this column. Most remember those same type of thuse meetings, many have experienced the same emotions as described and most have seen the loss of it all.
Paden City has a Local School Improvement Council that meets on Thursdays at 4:30. The goal of the council is to rally community members together to help improve the school in discipline, attendance, moral, curriculum and communication. Let’s rally around our schools, not just Paden City who I have used as an example here, but all the schools in our area. They all need our help. Call your school and see what you can do to help, especially as we try to get through the tough time we are facing. firstname.lastname@example.org