With nationwide tension soaring and a presidential election looming, Friday was a great night to enjoy a football game.
It was the first time for the WCHS Pioneers to play under the Friday Night Lights at Nunley Stadium this season. Warren County’s only other home game this year was moved to Thursday night due to weather.
The fans, still a little iffy because of COVID concerns, began to inch their way back. It wasn’t the type of full-throttle crowd that would be expected with an undefeated Pioneer team on the field, but it was a respectable showing.
The Pioneer Pride Marching Band delighted the crowd with a halftime performance that featured Elijah Hernandez on vocals. Elijah’s voice pierced through the sky as he sang “God Bless the USA” on a night where the Pioneers took the field carrying 19 flags in remembrance of Sept. 11, 2001.
Band director Duane Farnham served as honorary director for the song dressed in his military uniform. Farnharm is a 21-year member of the Air National Guard.
“It’s such a privilege to be able to serve,” said Farnham, who said he was traveling to Knoxville for National Guard duties after the game.
The band opened its performance with perhaps the song of the 1990s, “Smells Like Teen Spirit” from Nirvana. It was a playful diversion.
The Pioneerettes joined the band with a dance routine to further convey a sense of normalcy.
The high school football team plays back-to-back games in Murfreesboro the next two weeks before entertaining Cookeville for homecoming Oct. 2. Due to COVID concerns, the traditional homecoming celebration will be diminished.
There will not be a Homecoming Parade or floats. However, a Homecoming Court will be selected and a King and Queen will be announced during halftime of the football game.