Editor’s Note: Following the Mountain Pointe High School varsity football team’s 35-34 come-from-behind win over Mesa Desert Ridge last Friday night – despite trailing 28-0 at halftime – AFN staffer Elaine Cota provided this account of the Pride’s efforts to stay unbeaten.
As the mother of a Mountain Pointe High School freshman, I attended the Pride varsity football game last Friday – just like every Friday night. This game was at Desert Ridge High School in Mesa and while it may have been a good 25-minute drive from Ahwatukee Foothills, as band parents, that’s what we do.
I was so impressed by the pride shown by the Mountain Pointe students and parents at that game. Mountain Pointe had been on fall break all week, and the football players were a little rusty at the beginning of the game, likely from a bye the week prior.
But the crowd was behind them – we were all behind them.
Even though the cheerleaders didn’t dress out, several were still there, starting out the game in the stands.
One parent yelled, “We Believe!” Another: “You can do it … Get fired up!”
The cheerleaders looked around as if they said to themselves, “The team and crowd need us.” They made it down to the field level in their casual “cheer” shirts and jeans and cheered with all their might.
The crowd would start cheering defense and the cheerleaders responded. Our bleachers were probably filled with more supporters than the home team.
It was obvious the football players could feel the excitement, and the band never stopped playing their hearts out.
After halftime, it was clear: there was no stopping us. By “us” I mean the screaming parents, enthusiastic cheerleaders, the “we’ve-got-your-back” band, and the great football team that came back for an unbelievable victory.
From my perspective, this was nothing short of the ultimate “TEAM” effort. It didn’t just take Coach Norris Vaughan and his staff, but the players, the band, the cheerleaders and the undying commitment of the parents and fans to lift the team up.
My voice was hoarse and sore for over 24 hours, but it was so worth it. The feeling in the crowd that night – that kind of spirit is what this world needs, and I found it in our own backyard!
Elaine Cota is the classified advertising manager for the Ahwatukee Foothills News and ahwatukee.com.