August 17, 2013

Sports Center Saturday ~ Revival of Football on the Island

On August 6, I began a weekly blog post entitled, Tuesday's Tune.  I chose The Boys of Fall for my first tune/post because of the memories it brought back of my home town and the important role that football played in our lives and the community as a whole.  Little did I know that only a few days later I would receive a couple of google alerts on news for Sicily Island.

From an August 10 article entitled "Sicily Island Bringing Back Prep Football" on Alexandria, Louisiana's Town Talk website: 
It (J.R. Peace Stadium) needed some repairs, Price said.  But we've got a lot of sponsors and the junior high booster club is backing us.  It's a slow process, but the town has really rallied behind us.  It's an exciting time back here in Sicily Island.
From an August 12 article entitled "Football Makes a Comeback in Sicily Island" on Monroe, Louisiana's KNOE 8 website:
The town is just glad to have high school football back on the scoreboard, and administrators are hoping football will bring the school and community back to life.

Photograph by Billy Hathorn

Can reviving a high school football program bring back a school and a community? 

If the reaction of Tiger fans upon hearing that high school football is coming back to the Island is any indication, the answer is yes. 

Quotes from members of the Forever Tigers facebook page:

This makes us "Homefolks" proud!!---KW
Yes!  I just need to do a few stretches and dust off my old cheerleader uniform.  I'm sure it still fits.  GO BIG RED!!!---CJ
I am so proud that the Tigers are back on the field.  I wish I could be there to cheer them on.  I hope to see a game one day soon.  Go Tigers!  Go Big Red!  Thanks to all of you SI alums who have made this possible.  I know Coach Peace and Coach Watson are smiling down on you from heaven.---Coach Krause
Young Tigers...I think all former SI players will agree with me in saying that we are proud that high school football has returned to our alma mater.  Playing for the Big Red Machine was something that meant a lot to was our time to contribute to the winning tradition of SIHS football.  Now is your time....---MDW
This is incredible!!!!  So excited, I spent my youth at all those Friday night games!!!  ---Coach Peace's grandson
Even the reporter from KNOE got into the spirit of Big Red:
I'm sporting my new "I'm a tiger, all day, every day" shirt!---JC

One of my earlier posts, Sicily Island Football ~ The Beginning, provides copies of the Sicily Island Rotary Club's 1947 Resolution for establishing a football program and the response from the Catahoula Parish School Board.

"The Box"

The Tigers of the past were known for their tradition of running the Notre Dame Box formation.  To say they ran it successfully is an understatement.  The record of Coach Joe Raymond Peace while leading the Tigers was 288 wins, 58 losses, 5 ties.  The use of "The Box" and the Tiger's winning tradition continued under Coach Albert E. Krause, Jr.

Notre Dame Box - Sicily Island Tigers, 1976 Season

Future Tiger teams may not continue the tradition of running "The Box" but I have every confidence that they will continue the tradition of winning. 

As the word spreads about the revival of high school football at Sicily Island, I expect the enthusiasm to increase ten-fold. 

I plan to follow (and post) on the progress of high school football at Sicily Island and the impact it is sure to have on reviving my alma mater and my old home town.  Along the way, I will also be tossing in some photographs and stories of past Tiger football teams and the cheerleaders, pep squads and fans who supported them.

Note to all of you Tigers out there:  Always remember the phrase coined by Coach Peace, "Big Red Ain't Dead!" 

It's important. 

Write it down.

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