I was reflecting the other day about what it was like to be in high school. As I thought about my high school years, one of the experiences which stood out in my thoughts was how there was a strong sense of pride in my school. Maybe because I came from a small town, or maybe because there were not as many distractions, when I was in high school, we were proud to declare where we were from and how all our teams and extra-curricular groups performed. We told everyone that we were the Rolfe Rams, and we were proud.
We’re loyal to you, old Rolfe High
You’re old gold and red, old Rolfe High
We’ll back you to stand against the best in the land
For we know you can stand old Rolfe High
So come on and score old Rolfe High
Just one touchdown (basket) more old Rolfe High
Our team is our fame protector
On team for we expect a victory from you old Rolfe HighRHS Fight Song
Many games, pep rallies, homecoming events, and special community events, we sang those words as the band played loudly.
In addition to our singing of the fight song throughout the year. Homecoming week was a week filled with pride. We spent our nights at the bus barn constructing our class float. There were theme days throughout the week. On Friday, we wore our red and gold. Our dates to the Homecoming dance were given big yellow chrysanthemums (yellow was the closest we could get to old gold in flowers) with red ribbons and footballs in the center.
Thursday night of homecoming week meant the annual bonfire. Usually it was held on the baseball field diamond. A huge pep rally would take place as old wood pieces were burned. After a lot of cheering and some speeches, a snake line was formed, and we headed uptown and around the major areas of town with a lot of laughter, screaming, and cheering.
The Friday of homecoming began pretty normal. We had classes in the morning but once lunch was done then the rest of the day was dedicated to school pride. Band members, football players, cheerleaders, and the Homecoming Court would gather in respective locations to prepare for the festivities. At the appointed hour, all classes were dismissed to go to the gymnasium. The band would play some songs, including the fight song at the beginning and at the end. The cheerleaders would lead us in cheers. The football players would speak. Then it was time for coronation. The stage was all set up with chairs and risers. The royalty was crowned and then everyone went out for the parade. Floats were lined up. The senior class float was always the one upon which the royalty would ride. Elementary students lined the streets to downtown. The band led the parade followed by the floats. When we reached the center of downtown we held another large pep rally and townspeople lined the streets to cheer us on and be introduced to the Homecoming Court.
Of course the week culminated in the events of Friday night. The football game was first. All the floats would be on the track and during half-time of the game, the floats would parade around and the Homecoming Court would be introduced once again. Then after the game, everyone raced home to change clothes and head to the high school gymnasium for the dance. We would spend the next couple of hours dancing and enjoying hopefully a football victory that night. Either way, we were proud to be part of Rolfe High School.
I do not see the same sense of pride among many in the high schools today. Often times they do not have the dance until the next night and then it has become more of a mini-prom instead of anything related to school pride. The days of parades with floats that were covered in chicken wire and napkins seem gone. The singing of the school fight song and the energized pep rallies happens very infrequently now.
I am probably a bit too nostalgic. However, I am so glad that I went to a high school where school pride was something everyone felt. I am glad that I went to a high school where everyone attended games, celebrated daily activities of Homecoming week, and put some effort in showing what it meant to attend our particular high school. I have endless memories which fill me with joy.
So I am loyal to you old Rolfe High. You’re the old gold and red old Rolfe High. I will back you to stand against the best in the land for I know you can stand old Rolfe High. GO RAMS!