Meridian, Mississippi All eyes were on Meridian High School's Ray Stadium Friday night as the Wildcats took on the South Panola Tigers.
The teams played before a packed stadium, but there was also plenty of excitement leading up to the game. From the bleachers, to the sidewalks, to the parking lots, people were everywhere. Past MHS graduates even used the occasion to make up for lost time. For many families, it was just a fun way to kick off the weekend while showing their Wildcat spirit.
"I think thing about tonight is coming out and seeing these people you haven't seen since last season," MHS graduate Lea McCracken said. "Come out and love each other and be supportive of the wildcats and see some great football."
"You got like a big family environment," Poplar Springs PTA President Horatio Wilson said. "Everybody's smiling, enjoying themselves. It's a great night for football."
The anticipation had been building long before kick off though. MHS students and faculty gathered for a pep rally hours before the game to let the team know it had the full support of the school. Richard McQuarley couldn't wait to hit the field.
"Well, I'm most excited because I want to show a lot of guys what we're capable of doing," he said. "And a lot of people don't think we can do it, but I'd just like to show them how we going to do it and when we going to do it."
The day wasn't all about winning the game though. It was also about fun and fellowship. Principal Victor Hubbard says win or no win, it's Wildcats all the way!
"We still bleed blue," Hubbard maintains. "We still believe in blue. And we know Wildcats will always be number one."
South Panola beat Meridian High 34 to 14 on Friday night.