Showing up for my last Spirit of Waterloo on that rainy Thursday reminded me that my time here is coming to an end. I will be moving on from the many traditions Waterloo Collegiate Institute has, the big game and the spirit barbecue being two of them.
Spirit of Waterloo (SOW) started off as a Senior Football game between the two Waterloo high schools—the Bluevale Knights and the Waterloo Vikings—held at Seagram Stadium every year. As time went on, Sir. John A. Macdonald (SJAM) was built and became yet another competitor for the Vikings. This year, Waterloo Collegiate faced off against the SJAM Highlanders for SOW.
This year these traditions would not be broken, despite the weather, but the atmosphere was far from lively. The celebration had to move inside because of the storm, forcing what is usually a large number of excited and cheering Vikings to be a small group of random students milling about in the cafeteria.
As the student parade made its way over to Seagram Stadium, it was still raining and the wet atmosphere seemed to smother any excitement still left.
Once the game started, some of the soaked Viking crowd was able to wake up a little and do a few cheers. The game was very close, with the Highlanders getting on the board first. The rain had a large effect on the game, as it forced the teams to run the ball to avoid a pass slipping right through their hands.
Just before the half-time, Viking quarterback Mark C. broke his wrist in an awkward tackle, a big blow for the Viking offence. In the second half, the Vikings were able to strike back and get on the board with a touchdown and the point after, taking a 7-6 lead. With the Vikings taking the lead, the crowd grew louder.
Going into the fourth quarter, it looked like the Vikings were going to win, but a last minute drive by the Highlanders, with two and a half minutes to go, would silence what was a loud and cheering Viking crowd. Using what seemed to be an unstoppable running game, the SJAM team got the ball into the end zone for a quick six points. The game would end there with the Highlanders winning 12-9.
The game was overall disappointing for the Viking senior football team. Their offence started off a little shaky, only making a couple first downs and often having to punt the ball. Losing Mark C in the second quarter was a huge misfortune, but Bryce S was able to step up for them in the second half and make some big plays. The Viking defence was able to shut down the Highlanders’ passing game, forcing them to run the ball often. The problem for the Viking defence was that they missed too many tackles, letting the Highlanders take many undeserved first downs.
Despite the rough weather, the Viking crowd did still find a way to get up and cheer for their school. Even though my last Spirit of Waterloo would at first seem like a night ruined by Mother Nature, the game was so close and the crowd so persevering, it would most certainly be a memorable one.