It’s an odd thing, using a surfing term while writing from the center of Indiana. I’ll just say, it’s probably a good thing I did not grow up with 24/7 access to the water and the waves because I’d probably STILL be hitting the surf every morning, waiting to catch the right one, that perfect wave. For those of you who understand where I’m going, just hang tight a bit while I explain to everyone else.
Out in the open water, waves typically have little impact. Sure, there are those storm waves on which Hollywood scripts are written, and, sure, some people have gotten seasick during a 3 hour, open-sea jaunt (or even after 30 minutes, or some of you are getting seasick just reading this). But waves show their magic when the ocean floor shallows – when they approach land and start to break. I was once in Hawaii and had the privilege to watch professional surfers catch some waves that were insane (by insane, I mean both the waves and the surfers). When they caught them, they had a blast.
Last Friday night, I felt that wave start to take form. Sure, that seems a bit odd considering I was with many of you in Alexandria, IN. But as we watched this last game unfold, the sensation of the building wave started to fill the autumn air. Throughout the first half, the game was a bit of a back and forth tennis match between two pushers (ask a tennis coach – sorry for mixing the sports metaphors), who basically keep lobbing the ball to their opponent, hoping to wear the other out. If you recall, we kick, they punt, we move the ball and score, we kick, they move the ball and score, and on and on. But then, our Panthers started wearing them down which allowed for some explosive offensive moments and some surprising (to Alexandria) defensive bursts. Once the halftime show was over, the ocean floor started getting shallower as the 2016 Panther team started making big play after big play. It seemed like if you turned around for a second, you would miss something.
This is a great time for this type of wave to start forming. The momentum of last Friday will carry over into Senior Night this Friday against Blackford, which will continue to grow into tourney time, and WHO KNOWS how long we’ll all be able to ride?!? All I’m saying is that we have all been waiting for days, weeks, even months for this wave of excitement to build and we’re all getting ready to experience the excitement of the ride throughout the adventure.
Come on out and cheer our Panthers this Friday at the final regular season home game. But be sure you bring your cheering voices, your cowbell, and be ready for the wave.
-article by Todd Syswerda