A Warrior’s send-off

As the Lebanon High School Warrior Class 5A football team leaves for a game in the second-round playoffs against Summit High School in Bend on Friday, Nov. 10, parents and community members line up behind the school to send the boys off with cheers.

Even though it wasn’t “the big one” – a trip to state championships – Head Coach Troy Walker believes community support of school sports and arts is a long-held tradition that stays alive in Lebanon.

“If nothing else, it proves how important our community is,” he said. “When things like this happen in our community, whether it’s band or choir or whatever it is, our community rallies around it.”

As a 1988 LHS grad, Walker recalled thousands of people supporting the football program. Now he’s coaching the children of his own high school peers, as well as the grandkid of his own coach, Rick George.

For a lot of “us old-timers,” cheering on the football team is still tradition, Walker said.

“A first round game is pretty important to every community, but with this community it’s the history and the long tradition of excellence in football in our community.”

The community, alongside parents, wants to show love toward its kids, he added, and the team shows its support back through community service. A recent example of that was when the team helped paint a fence for the Kerrigone family.

Athletic Director Kraig Hoene said the LHS-Summit game was very competitive through the first half, but Summit pulled away in the second half and won 49-14.

“Is it overboard? Maybe in some communities,” Walker said. “But this is what Lebanon does to support these sports programs.”