By Ray Hamill — Here’s something we don’t say every day here on the North Coast, but local sports fans will have their choice of state championship games to go to on Saturday night.
Don’t waste the opportunity.
Many fans and alumni of both St. Bernard’s and Del Norte have traveled a long way to take in this historic occasion, so here’s hoping local fans take full advantage too.
The only drawback is that both games are on at the same time on the same night, denying many of us the chance to take in the two biggest games of the year here in Humboldt and Del Norte counties.
(Apparently the CIF, much like the NCS, doesn’t appreciate how our isolation on the North Coast fuels our passion for community sports, and how fans of all North Coast teams always seem to support their local rivals at this stage of any season.)
For the players, make no mistake about it, Saturday night will be the biggest games of their young lives.
So here’s hoping they appreciate the moment, because it’s one they’ll never forget, one way or the other, and the type of occasion that doesn’t come along very often in life.
It’s their opportunity to write a high school legacy that St. Bernard’s and Del Norte players a generation from now will look up to, an opportunity every single one of them has worked incredibly hard for, and a crowning moment they’ll all proudly tell their kids about some day.
Win or lose, it’s an occasion they should relish.
Both teams will be hosting a first-ever state championship game for either county, and that makes them history makers.
“It’s an honor for these kids,” St. Bernard’s head coach Matt Tomlin said. “And they’ve earned it. They’ve had a great season.”
There is an almost tangible excitement surrounding both schools.
“The buzz around the St. Bernard’s community is incredible,” Tomlin said. “So many alumni have reached out and said they’re coming back into town for the game. There really seems like there’s a buzz around campus.”
For Del Norte, it’s every bit as big.
“It’s Crescent City’s Super Bowl,” head coach Nick White said.
So get there early, be loud, and support these teams.
And most of all, don’t forget to relish the occasion.
After all, these opportunities don’t come around too often, for players or fans.