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Burning with Sandie Pride

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Bonfire Lights up the Grapeland Sky

By Will Johnson

Messenger Reporter

GRAPELAND – It has been said that Sandie Pride Never Dies (SPND) and on Wednesday night, Oct. 16, Sandie Pride was on full display as a throng of Grapeland Sandie fans gathered outside of Sandie Stadium for the homecoming bonfire.

For only the second time since the late 1990s / early 2000s – perhaps the re-birth of a tradition – the sky over the stadium was aflame with a maroon (okay – orange) glow representing a burning desire to beat the Lovelady Lions on Homecoming, held this past Friday, Oct. 12.

Hundreds of fans, band members, cheerleaders, coaches and football players assembled for the event and at approximately 8 pm, the program got underway with the invocation.

Following the prayer, students from Grapeland Elementary School performed their rendition of Lee Greenwood’s, “God Bless the USA.”

Once the younger students concluded, the Mighty Sandie Band cranked up the Grapeland Fight Song as the GHS Cheer Squad showcased their talent.

As the last notes faded, Grapeland Coach Tyler Terry remarked, “We have the biggest game of the year. We are playing Lovelady for the district championship. We are trying to go back-to-back as district champions and we’re trying to beat the Lions for the third straight year. We are going to need all your love and support in the stands.”

GHS Senior Kaden Dupree expressed his appreciation to the crowd in attendance and said the Grapeland fans would make a big difference on Friday night as the Sandies look to take charge of District 12-2A DII.  

Next, the GHS seniors wandered over to where the unlit bonfire stood waiting. While the cheerleaders cheered and the band played, the seniors placed torches at the base of the pyre and watched as the flames morphed into a 30-foot tower of fire.  

Will Johnson may be contacted via e-mail at wjohnson@messenger-news.com.