After a long drive into the setting sun, arriving in Livingston at Sumter Central High School’s football field to the sounds of West Blocton’s drum line emanating from under the glare of the big lights made the crisp fall air feel like it was supposed to, finally. This was Friday night football in Alabama.

West Blocton’s crowd turnout seemed to shadow the home team’s stands, even though it was the Jaguars’ homecoming. Indeed, the visitor stands overflowed into the grass on either side, with fans making little camps of folding chairs and blankets. A mobile food trailer served as concession stand next to the visitor entrance, and their grill filled the air with savory meat scent, no doubt making the Tigers hungry for blood.

During halftime the band presented a entertaining show of songs from movies, including one of my favorites, The Pink Panther. As the iconic melody danced across the field, the Pink Panther himself crept through the band and danced to the tune before disappearing again.

Posting 28 points in the first half while holding the Jaguars to nothing, the Tigers turned up the heat after halftime, putting 22 points on the board in the 3rd quarter alone. The pace slowed in the 4th, yet West Blocton still put another 6 points on the scoreboard, cranking the nails down on the coffin.

The cheerleaders and band pumped the school spirit throughout the game as the band played game-day favorites and fight songs with barely a break between as cheerleaders kept the crowd in it. West Blocton faithful huddled together for warmth but cheered on their team right to the very end.

West Blocton is currently ranked 30th in Class 4A in Alabama, with a record of 4-2 in their region. They enjoy an off week now as they prepare for a home match-up against Jemison on November 2nd.


Additional photos courtesy of Kathy McCulley: