People who live in small towns stick together like families when the time comes. When St. Vincent's of Perryville played in the Class 1 state football championship last weekend, Perryville High School students and alumni were in the stands rooting hard for their crosstown rivals.
St. Vincent's defeated East Buchanan High School 21-0 in the championship game in St. Louis.
East Buchanan was playing on behalf of its community as well, but in a special way.
East Buchanan's seniors had dedicated their season to a classmate, 15-year-old Sarah McCoy, who was slain three years ago. People in the small towns of Gower and Easton near St. Joseph had helped search for Sarah until her body was found days later in a creek bed.
Now the winning football team had brought the community back together to be happy about something.
If there's no crying in baseball, there's no room for sympathy in football, at least until the game is over. The St. Vincent players didn't just beat East Buchanan. They overpowered them. They held scoreless a team that was averaging more than 37 points per game. They held a 2,000-yard rusher to 56 yards. They intercepted the East Buchanan quarterback six times.
East Buchanan lost, but what fan isn't proud of them?
What resident of Perry County isn't proud of St. Vincent's?
St. Vincent's of Perryville and East Buchanan students and fans will remember this season warmly for the rest of their lives.