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Does Ft. Thomas realize/appreciate what they have?


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After being born & raised in a different universe and now living in Ft. Thomas for 8 years, my question is this:

 

Does the town of Ft. Thomas realize & appreciate what they have in Highlands football?

 

So many people I've met & known in those 8 years spent their childhoods in Ft. Thomas, going to some terrific schools and playing in an excellent Jr. Football league that prepared them, not over-prepared them, for what they'd see on the high school field a few years later. It's all very second nature to them.

 

Some of us didn't have that experience. Some never saw their parents attending every high school football game from the time they started kindergarten. Some played in leagues where parents & non-parents didn't voluntarily show up at 7:00 AM every Saturday morning to ensure the kids had a quality playing experience that day. Some attended high schools with enormous talent bases, that underperformed year, after year, after year, in towns that really didn't care. Some saw their crowds at away games outnumbered by the porta-potties. Some didn't have coaches that truly judge the result of their coaching more by the career & family success of their players at age 30, then their football success at age 18.

 

I wonder, do the people of Ft. Thomas realize that not every town in America both lives and breathes with their high school's football program, and is willing and able to do the work necessary to make football championships seemingly fall from the trees with every turn of the leaves? Do they understand that people leave high school all over this nation never having the opportunity to fully grasp their potential as football players. Do they really realize how special of an environment they, their parents, and their grandparents have created? What do you think?

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I think in general it is difficult to appreciate how special a community is until you come in from outside our until you leave after being born and raised there. I spent my first 30 years in Ft. Thomas and still have parents and siblings there and the siblings have never left and now have children in the school system. After living elsewhere I tend to appreciate my Ft. Thomas roots more and more. Obviously people feel the place they were born and raised are special for their own reasons. While football is king in Ft. Thomas, I think it is extra special for a lot of other reasons. I do believe their kids work a lot harder than in any other community I have resided in and a lot of that comes from years of tradition. By the way when did the mandatory shaving of the heads and riding your bike in August end??? I also believe the FTJFL does a great job in giving the kids a love for the game at an early age. I've seen other little leagues and had a son play for the first time last year. Unfortunately our experience was somewhat dissapointing. Apparently the goal of some coaches in the league is to run off as many of the weaker kids as possible to make your team more competitive. We started practice at the beginning of the year with 26 players and started the season with 16. My son much to his credit completed the season but I think he dreaded going to practice and never really seemed to enjoy the game. This year he decided not to play and proceeded to tell me some of the things the coaches said to him last year. I venture to say this type of behavior would not be tolerated in the FTJFL. I think the coaches know that some of those less athletic 9 and 10 year olds may be the key pieces to your high school team winning an 18th state title for your community. For what its worth from a proud cake eater!

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Here we go...

 

Sorry, you're right. Now that I reread it, this will end up a Ft. T love-fest.

 

It's just as every football season progresses, I'm always amazed at the consistency of the HHS program. Then I look around at my kid's jr. team and all the work everyone is doing, and the commitment of the town, and duh, no wonder. Then I compare it to what I grew up with, and .... we'll this post popped out.

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I also do not believe that Ft. Thomas is appreciated unless you see first hand what else is out there. I grew up and graduated in 1980 from HHS, my child went to different school, unfortunately, and she can tell you the difference. I had taken her to HHS football games when she was growing up because our community did not have football until she was in middle school. She is proud of roots and wears her school logos even at college, but just ask her and she will tell you she may be a wildcat 1st but she is a cake eater 2nd. The quality of education I received compared to what she received is amazing, and she graduated with honors! (Although, KERA did not exist when I was in school). Now that she is off to college, house is for sale and trying hard to get back to Ft. Thomas(I should of never left).

For some it is true that once a cakeeater, always a cakeeater!

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I know that there are so many things that people could say about this thread. But, here goes nothing:

 

I grew up in Fort Thomas, the youngest of 6 siblings and on the south end of town. If anyone from here knows, that's as close as any of us got to "the hood" in Fort Thomas. It was the working class side of town and where parents couldn't see you participate in sports or volunteer in the cafeteria because they either were both working-multiple jobs, or were divorced, or worse, not both still around. We were the rougher crowd and you could definitely tell it when we got to middle school. When we went throught the FTJFL we had only just started flag football in 3-4th grades and tackle didn't start until 5-6th grade.

 

When I was in 4th grade my determined and outspoken brother called the league president at the time and explained that he believed I was big and talented enough to play in the 5-6th grade league. He told them my size and they allowed me to play. I got to play on the Blue team which consists of mainly Ruth Moyer kids. We won the championship.

 

The next year they rezoned the league and my brother and I both ended up on the Green team which was mostly Woodfill kids. Eventually the School districts followed with the rezoning, and if I were to live where I did growing up, I would have went to Woodfill and not Ruth Moyer like I did. At first it was devastating to not even get to play on the team that supposedly represented my school. With time, it just made me stronger and I met many new friends. The people all new your name, especially Reno Deaton. My coaches are still in the community today: Tony Costas, Moose Bradford, Bob Mullen, Dave McMahon, Tom New, Rob Peterson, and who could forget Larry Olberding. He once turned the lights on in his huge Cadillac so we could practice up at Woodfill one time.

 

In middle school, they decided to make a league similar to the Frosh league in NKY. We had a North and a South team for the middle school and played other local schools' middle school teams. If that didn't divide that town from the North and South, the haves and that have-nots, the soshes and the greasers, I don't know what did. But it turned out that the championship game was between the two teams from Highlands. North won, oh well.

 

Here all this time I thought how terrible it was to be a poor kid living in Fort Thomas and how I couldn't stand people with money. Now I see they were just trying to do what I am now doing for my kids. Now I live in the center of town with a beautiful house, great family, great job, and couldn't be happier. My number one pre-requesite for my wife was that I told her I would not leave Fort Thomas. Thank God she wanted to live here too.

 

Nowadays, my worst problem I face is figuring out who didn't clean up after their dog in my front yard. It's nice to see the police patrol almost every half hour past my house. We should have it so rough. I'll never forget where I came from and don't want my kids to either.

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There is no doubt that the football program at HHS is a well oiled machine from the little ones on up. Highlands also gets amazing support from the community and parents. Heck it's the closest thing I have seen to a "Friday Night Lights" type place around here. How much it is appreciated though is hard to gauge because every time there isn't a running clock in the 3rd quarter I hear in the stands and read on here alot of play calling/coach second guessing.

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I spent my first two years of high school at Campbell County. In my sophomore year, the team was 1-9, the only win a 6-0 or 7-0 game against Dayton. The next year I was at Highlands and got to watch a team that did the exact opposite, losing only to NewCath, (on my BIRTHDAY,) which denied them a shot at the post-season. I enjoyed going to the games while I was at Campbell County, (and I was genuinely shocked at how few of my classmates bothered to go to the games.) but once I got to Highlands and found out how much nicer it was to watch a winner, I was really hooked.

Yeah, we appreciate it. Probably why we come down so hard on anything less than everything.

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Ok, here ends the love fest. I've been in Fort Thomas 23 years and can't imagine living anywhere else. Love the schools, town and people. However, I do have to wonder if people really do appreciate what they have in the football program when I see large sections of empty seats at almost any game not involving CCH. I realize there are tons of people standing around the end zones and such but with a progam like ours I think it should be SRO every game no matter who we are playing.

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Yes we do.
I agree. That's why this is a legacy town. People live here for generations. They pass on their homes, their schools and their traditions through multiple generations. No need to go on about it; the first post said it all. But rest assured, the people of Ft. Thomas are VERY aware of the treasure that is this community.
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