by Da Hee Yang (’23) | October 11, 2021
Saint Francis triumphed in football against De La Salle, breaking its football team’s undefeated streak of 30 years, a total of 318 games, against all Northern California teams. De La Salle lost to Saint Francis, 31-28. Local newspapers and broadcasters reported this stunning victory, which brought more Lancer pride onto campus, and football players were recognized and interviewed for their contribution to the victory. Yet it is possible to look at the broader picture of this event and recognize other elements of the atmosphere of this successful game. Looking up at the bleachers, next to the Rage Cage, let’s see the event from the Lancer Band’s perspective.
As much as the football players were busy playing on the field, the Band was busy playing music to raise everyone’s enthusiasm for the athletes to break the infamous De La Salle winning streak. That night, the football field was filled with the Lancer Band’s music, starting from its classic “Sweet Caroline” and “HandClap” to the famous “Alma Mater.”
Lancer Band members recall their experiences of the unforgettable night in the bleachers. Tuba player Alex Eiger (’23) remembers watching the 16-yard touchdown moment in which Matthew Dougherty Jr. (’23) passed the ball to Nicolas Andrighetto (’22) with 16.7 seconds left in the game, which ultimately led the Lancers to victory. Eiger stated, “Being on the edges of our seats when Saint Francis was so close to the end zone and waiting for the drum majors to yell the word “TOUCHDOWN” really made the whole band enthusiastic. The feeling after having the drumline start the count off, while the Rage Cage was screaming and the announcers were over the speakers, was absolutely indescribable.”
Clarinet player Emily Dang (’23) also stated that the mood in the stands after the first two touchdowns changed drastically and the Band started to gain more momentum in energizing the audience. “After seeing much potential for winning the game, the band was able to be more excited, playing as loud as possible to pump up the atmosphere.” Another clarinet player, David Kipp (’23), further stated that the Band’s vitality, as much as the football team’s, was intense: “We were all so nervous and excited watching the game until the team reached its final reversal. After being involved in the three-hour-long football game, I was a little tired; I couldn’t even imagine what it was like for the players who were actually on the field.”
The victory against De La Salle raises hope for an undefeated season for the Lancer football team. From a larger viewpoint, the whole football team, Rage Cage, Band, and the cheerleaders were all important in making it the unforgettable night it was. Specifically, the fanatical energy Lancer Band brought to the game should not be dismissed; in an athletic atmosphere that fused music and sports, everyone was able to feel a sense of belonging to the community during this historic Lancer home game victory.