Teachers give play-by-play account of homecoming

Published 12:22 am Wednesday, October 26, 2011

I’m used to running commentary when watching high-school, college and professional football games on television.

I wasn’t expecting a running commentary when I attended Washington High School’s homecoming football game Friday night. I expected comments from the public-address announcer in the press box. He did an excellent job. I wasn’t expecting running commentary from three teachers who sat directly behind me during the game.

To be sure, their commentary was interesting. Their commentary wasn’t about the gridiron battle taking place on the field. Their commentary was about the homecoming court. Before I entered Wagner Stadium, I knew a little something about one of the members of the homecoming court. I know her parents and her siblings. As for the other members of the homecoming court, I didn’t know them from Adam or Eve.

The teacher trio behind me brought me up to speed in a hurry. By halftime, I knew plenty about most members of the homecoming court, especially its female members.

“She’s got looks and brains,” one teacher said of one of the candidates for homecoming queen.

“She’s got a creative nature. She’s a good artist,” another teacher said about a homecoming-queen candidate who is one of that teacher’s students.

“That one’s got a mind of her own and can be a handful to deal with at times,” a third teacher said about a third candidate for homecoming queen.

Combined, the three teachers provided comments about almost all of the candidates for homecoming queen. None of their comments were malicious or cruel, but some of their comments were interesting.

“She looks like she’s never worn heels before,” one of the teachers offered about one of the sophomore members of the homecoming court.

She was right. It was apparent the young girl did not have much experience in heels. She was like a newborn filly testing her legs — a bit wobbly, but, eventually, getting the hang of it.

Although I was paying attention to the battle taking place on the football field, I could not tune out the three teachers behind me. To tell the truth, I did not want to tune them out. At times, their commentary was much more interesting than what was happening on the field. And if I listened long enough, who knows, they may have said something about one of my columns. Want to bet such a conversation takes place at the next WHS home football game, if those teachers are there?

One of the three teachers did not stay for the entire game. After her choice for homecoming queen did not win the crown, she left.

“My girl lost. I’m leaving,” she said. “I came to see who would be named homecoming queen. I don’t care about the game.”

I may just show up at the next WHS home football game so I can listen to those teachers again.

I did pay attention to the game. The Pam Pack came on strong in the final quarter and pulled out a 21-13 win over South Central’s Falcons.

Mike Voss covers the city of Washington for the Washington Daily News. Even if those teachers are not at the next WHS home football game, he plans to be there if for no other reason than those tasty hot dogs sold at the concession stand.

About Mike Voss

Mike Voss is the contributing editor at the Washington Daily News. He has a daughter and four grandchildren. Except for nearly six years he worked at the Free Lance-Star in Fredericksburg, Va., in the early to mid-1990s, he has been at the Daily News since April 1986.
Journalism awards:
• Pulitzer Prize for Meritorious Public Service, 1990.
• Society of Professional Journalists: Sigma Delta Chi Award, Bronze Medallion.
• Associated Press Managing Editors’ Public Service Award.
• Investigative Reporters & Editors’ Award.
• North Carolina Press Association, First Place, Public Service Award, 1989.
• North Carolina Press Association, Second Place, Investigative Reporting, 1990.
All those were for the articles he and Betty Gray wrote about the city’s contaminated water system in 1989-1990.
• North Carolina Press Association, First Place, Investigative Reporting, 1991.
• North Carolina Press Association, Third Place, General News Reporting, 2005.
• North Carolina Press Association, Second Place, Lighter Columns, 2006.
Recently learned he will receive another award.
• North Carolina Press Association, First Place, Lighter Columns, 2010.
4. Lectured at or served on seminar panels at journalism schools at UNC-Chapel Hill, University of Maryland, Columbia University, Mary Washington University and Francis Marion University.

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