Outlined against a blue gray October sky, the community came out to support one high school football team. And, the community was there. Over 8,000 strong lined the seats,walkways and hills that surrounded the grassy plain below (Grantland Rice, sorta).

Visible were Fort Hill shirts, Allegany jackets, Frankfort and Mountain Ridge fans.

They were there at Greenway stadium in a tremendous show of community spirit to support Fort Hill High School in one of the finest games ever played at our stadium against a visiting powerhouse from Florida.

For one night, yes one magnificent night in the history of this competitive town, we came together as one. And, perhaps, that is the way it should be, because it sure felt good. The fans cheered, pizza was in abundance, the players excelled beyond all expectations. And, the band played on.

And, here is the twist. Perhaps, it is time to consider consolidation.

The community spirit and support of OUR football team that evening should, could, may be a symbol and catalyst for what could be with one high school in Cumberland.

Beyond the sports theme, the potential to have one world class academic high school in our community should be a goal of our board of education. Instead, we have this meandering that is going on now with two small, expensive high schools and two middle schools that are shortly going to become political and financial hot topics.

So, there it is. Let us morph that one evening of community spirit and enthusiasm into a strong one high school community with strong academics, sports, band, drama club, foreign languages, arts and the whole realm of choices for our students.

Bill Zapf



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