Socorro High School, New Mexico. Clock strikes 7pm, the wind has died down, the air is dry and still warm from another hot day in the desert. The air smells like warm sand with a slight whiff of hot dogs. The Warriors football team and the crowd are pumped for Friday Night Lights. The visitors from Taos takes to the field first before the local heroes emerge in an appropriate epic gladiator fashion from the locker room and run onto the field. The national anthem is sung and silences the crowd in respect before the kick-off brings back the noise and cheering.
I am attending an institution in American culture, the Friday night high school football game, something I have been wanting to experience for many years. It is everything I hoped for. Socorro being a small town, I am allowed to stand right on the sideline and experience and capture all the action. I have followed football (the American version) since 1989 but this is my first live game. The intensity as the players block, run, tackle, smash into each other is spectacular and following the sideline action of the players and the coaches lends fascinating insight. Mascots, cheerleaders, ‘homecoming kings and queens’ (which is? anyway they looked great and were very popular!), zebra-stribed refs, every element was present and perfect. I snap away with the Fuji X-pro1 and the Leica M6 with a grin on my face, this is another slice of New Mexico magic.
Socorro Warriors beat the Taos Tigers 34-7 in a great game featuring a fine Warriors running game and defense. They play at home again next Friday. It is quite possible I cannot resist being on the sidelines again. Hut, hut, hut. Go Warriors.