Spider-Man. Superman. Captain America. Joe Paterno.
Last Friday was the Flannel Panel's unveiling of "Super Heroes Theme Night" in Joseph A. Massa Gymnasium at Warren Area High School. Color me impressed.
It's not a stretch to think that these are some of the future leaders of America, dressed in pajamas.
Photo by Denny Kyser
Super Heroes Night
From left, in front, are Brad Simmons, Luke Wortman and Rob Bablak at The Flannel Panel’s Super Heroes Night last Friday at Warren’s boys basketball game against Harbor Creek at Warren Area High School.
Photo by Denny Kyser
The Flannel Panel's already got a following - over 500 "friends" on Facebook. The list includes students and adults, including current students, students from other schools, recent WAHS graduates, parents, coaches, photographers, sports writers, and at least one sports editor.
I'm a fan, and I'm not the only one.
Players thank the Flannel Panel for its enthusiasm after every home game. Coaches encourage me to do stories on the Flannel Panel. One adult told me she can't wait to see what the Flannel Panel is going to choose next for its "theme night."
Editor's Note: Tyson Himes hit the game-winning shot in double overtime in front of Meadville's bench.
Flannel Panel co-captain Nathan Zigler said it's not rocket science. He said students talk at school, and have come up with lots of ideas.
Don't underestimate the Flannel Panel, Nathan.
It doesn't take much creativity to spread salad dressing on the visiting team's bus windows, which reportedly happened recently in the county.
But Super Heroes Night, and getting dozens of fellow students on the same page to dress up in Halloween costumes in January? That's good, clean fun that stands the test of time. That's creative. It's supporting your team, your school and your community to the utmost. It's something you'll always remember.
Tyson Himes is a sports writer for the Times Observer. He played for the Warren boys basketball team that finished in the top 16 in the state a few years back. He was telling me about getting hit in the face by an elbow, or something, and coming out of the game, bleeding. He noticed his mother - like loving mothers might do - walking down the bleachers to his aid at Meadville Area High School.
He knew immediately what might happen.
And it did.
With his head wrapped, every time he touched the rock the rest of the game, he heard, "MOMMA'S BOYYY," "MOMMA'S BOYYY," from the student section.
Some time passed, he graduated, and someone came up to him and asked, "Aren't you Momma's Boy?"
Super Heroes Night did one thing for me:
It created a high standard; a standard that the student section at Warren Area High School needs to keep living up to.
With great power comes great responsibility, as Spider-Man would say.
Or was it Optimus Prime?