No more Friday night lights

Saying goodbye to the students that made Friday nights at the Pit so great.

kyle orloff
Senior Kyle Orloff

Elder High School is famous for many things, our traditions, our students, our academics, but by far the one thing that people statewide (even nationwide) know us for is for our football program. Elder football is always looked at by other teams with the respect that we’ve earned over decades of taking to the gridiron. But every year the season must come to an end and so does another class of seniors have to bid goodbye to the Pit. This year we had a great class of players who played their collective hearts out every time they were on the field, producing a 6-5 record last season on varsity. Some of the leaders this year were linebacker Kyle Orloff and quarterback Payton Ramsey, who led this group of Panthers into battle week after week.

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Junior Payton Ramsey waits for the snap

Not only were they leaders in the game, but also in practice. The Elder Panthers practice is legendarily tough, but leaders like Orloff and Ramsey have helped turn what just four years ago were freshman coming from a dozen or so different schools into a tightknit brotherhood of purple. But even something so impressive like the brotherhood forged by the Elder men on and off that field must bow to the elder football 2steady march of time. Yes, as we bid 2014 goodbye and welcomed the frosty cold of 2015 we as a senior class have entered the homestretch of our Elder journey and must say goodbye to the sports that we love. Although some students, like Orloff and a few others will continue to play at a college level, must of us Elder men are forced to put away our cleats and hang up our jerseys for good. Stephen Rodgers, one of the seniors on last season’s football team said that it “sucked” that he will never have the experience of playing in front of his fellow classmates and the mixture of alumni from years past anymore. Rodgers also expressed a remorse that he won’t be able to try out the new turf and the new uniforms that next year’s team will have the privilege of calling their home field. As we say goodbye to the football team and the great memories of Friday night’s past, we often forget a major reason of what made those games so great to attend, the Elder marching band. Though they don’t get as much love as the football players (who without a doubt have earned the respect they are given) we often forget to acknoladge, let alone thank the members of the band team who come to every game and play our fight song and alma mater perfectly every time, and that is just not right. Senior John Gerke is a trombonist in the Elder High School band and was part of the brass section for the marching band for the three years of his high school career. “It’s disappointing to not be able to do it anymore,” Gerke admitted when asked about his feelings on leaving the band life behind him next year. “But I’m glad I got the chance.” For seniors like us, it’s hard to imagine leaving the school that we’ve come to love, but in just three and a half months that will be the reality of things. So to all of those of you who are still in your underclassmen years here at Elder, take it from me, these are the years that you will remember, so treasure and make the most out of every day that you have left here, because they go by faster than you’d believe.