Prior to kickoff
Before kickoff it was a cloudy, windy, cool evening...perfect football weather. Anticipation was in the air, Wildcat pride could be seen everywhere, on the faces of young and old. There was an excitement as a new era was about to begin in Wildcat football history.
The Wildcat marching band came onto the field, playing "Hail to the Victor" and the school's Alma Mater...followed by one of the most patriotic songs, Star Spangled Banner. As I walked in, there were was a plenty of patrons hustling and bustling to secure a seat, it was organized chaos.
I estimate about 2000 people were within Wildcat Park, as I spotted a patron with the following on her shirt, "Everyday matters, but it's Friday night that counts." The team approaches, hand in hand, arms locked...a display of camaraderie. Ken Myles, the man who spearheaded the project discusses the inception of Wildcat Park, as he recalls a night last year when Fox-8 News sport-anchor Tony Rizzo talks about the poor condition of the field, Myles begins his process...an idea is born. During the ceremony, Myles recognizes key individuals, as the Stadium and Field are part of Phase I...Phase II continues throughout the rest of this year and into next year. Ceremonial Ribbon cutting commences and the Wildcat football team roars onto the field and breaks through the banner...a new era of Wildcat football is underway.
The game is underway as the ball is switched over, to commemorate/signify a historic moment. Mayfield's opening drive ends with a pass from # 9 (Drazen Markovi) to # 4 (WR - Chris Reimer )...an invaluable way to star the game and the opening of Wildcat Stadium/Park. Olmsted Falls second drive, 4 and 2 on the 37 of Mayfield, broken up by # 9...a stout defensive play.
A gain of 36 yards, # 9 to # 2 on 3 and 15 with 40 seconds left to go, a beautiful crisp pass (leaping and catching it over his right shoulder that led to a 8 yard run by # 22 (RB- Anthony Canganelli )
To start the 2nd qtr, Wildcats 14, Bulldogs ZIP. A 32 yard field goal attempt by the Bulldogs, the Wildcats hold their ground as the opposition was driving hard into Mayfield territory.
Mayfield driving again, #9 to # 22, a 14 yard pass, Wildcats 21 and the Bulldogs 3.
The Wildcats are on fire, #9 to # 18 (WR- John Pasquale) , 32 yard pass, Wildcats 28 and the Bulldogs 3.
The Wildcats scored one more touchdown prior to the half, a 41-yard touchdown pass to Anthony Canganelli.
Mayfield is up 35 to 3 at the end of the half. The Bulldogs finally found the endzone, a touchdown in the 4th quarter. Mayfield's defense was solid throughout the second half. Fans left the stadium, joyous and elated. What a way to open the new stadium, great football weather, young and old Wildcat fans and a win to commemorate the opening of Wildcat Park/Stadium...a new epoch has been etched and it was an honor to partake in it.