Riding the Team Bus

It’s been a long time since I rode on the Team Bus. Although my memory is a bit foggy, it was over 40 years ago when I was a high school student at Wahconah and covering sports for The Dalton News-Record. I do remember when the bus broke down on the ride home, and we sat on Route 9 while a replacement drove to rescue us. There were no cell phones back then, so a two-way radio must have summoned help.

A few days before Friday’s Top Cop game, I received an email from School Resource Officer Brian Kennedy. With the approval of Athletic Director Brian Davis, I was generously offered a seat on the team bus for the trip to Yarmouth. I accepted, and we departed Auburn High School at 1:30 PM with a full police escort.

The lead bus held the varsity players and over half of the coaches. I opted for bus 2 with the younger players, the managers and the remaining coaches. There was a lot more room on the second bus, and I was hoping to rest a bit. With my Bose noise-cancelling earbuds in place and my old iPod playing, I sat back and relaxed.

The State Police cruisers and the Auburn and Grafton PD motorcycles did a great job keeping the buses rolling, and this was important with a set start time for the Top Cop game. Upon arrival at Dennis-Yarmouth Regional High School, the Rockets stowed their gear and lined up for a nice pasta dinner. Then it was time to get dressed, warm up and head to the field.

Since my work starts at game time, I was hanging off to the side and occasionally chatting with somebody. Everyone at Dennis-Yarmouth said the same thing: They were impressed that every player was dressed up in a shirt and tie; and they were impressed with the behavior and attitude of every player.

Our Rockets looked and acted like gentlemen, and that made me proud. Their peers, coaches, teachers, parents and families should be proud as well. This team is showing the outside world what Auburn is all about, and I thank them for that.