From the Bench: School spirit has officially arrived at Del Norte High
By Michael Bower
As the Del Norte High football team lined up in victory formation to run out the final minute of its first win in school history over crosstown rival Rancho Bernardo, the student section — also known as “The Flock” — started to form its own formation.
Members of the group began jumping over the front railing of the stands at Del Norte High, and then waited anxiously against the gate separating them from the field for the clock to hit all zeroes.
When it finally did, the hundreds of students stormed the field to celebrate the program’s biggest win in its three-year history. It mirrored the scene of an upset victory by a home team at the college level.
“It was a milestone for us,” Del Norte High athletic director Mike Giaime said. “The kids running on the field had nothing to do with disrespect to Rancho Bernardo. It was a special thing for us. It was no different than when Rancho Bernardo beat Mt. Carmel for the first time…”
But the moment meant so much more than just a 28-21 victory over the school that has always considered itself “big brother” to Del Norte.
It was a moment that also gave the students, parents and entire 4S Ranch community a chance to show just how proud they are to be part of Del Norte High. It was a moment that, since the school opened in 2009, needed to happen. It was a moment that this 2013 senior class had been dreaming about since entering the school as freshmen.
“These seniors are the first class to go all four years here at the school and they took it upon themselves to set a tradition for years to come,” Giaime said. “They wanted to leave a legacy and they took the bull by the horns and did that.”
They did it by starting The Flock and the Nighthawk Nation Club. They did it by showing up in groups that grew larger with every game. They did it by showing the type of school spirit that athletes at Del Norte have desperately wanted to see for the last few years.
And the result of all that hard work was put on full display when time ran out and the Nighthawks took down the Broncos.
“What you saw was the school spirit of a school that has been around for 20 years and not one that has been around for four years,” Giaime said. “We are really proud of what our kids can do and have done already. I am thrilled about the progress we have made as a school.”
Even running back George Liang, whose 65-yard touchdown run late in the fourth quarter proved to be the difference, felt like the school became official after the storming of the field.
“That was amazing,” he said. “Our fans have really improved this last year … We are finally a real high school now. I am proud of it.”
“Proud” being the keyword in that sentence. The entire school has grown a sense of pride and togetherness. The camaraderie seems to be getting stronger every day.
“I think our kids have taken school spirit to the next level,” Giaime said. “They coined The Flock themselves this year. They are proud to be here and want everyone to know how proud they are of going to Del Norte. They want people to know we have arrived.”
After last Friday night, everyone should know it now.
From the Bench is a high school sports column written by Sports Editor Michael Bower. For all of the latest local sporting news follow Michael on Twitter @PomeradoSports or “Like” us on Facebook on facebook.com/pomeradonews.
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