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October 17, 1995

This year's Perry high school football team is perhaps earning a place in history for itself, but not necessarily because of the number of games won and lost. It may be the smallest squad in Oklahoma's class 3A competition with only 22 players on the roster. Several eight-man teams, including the state champions over at Morrison, have more than that in uniforms.

I think the 1995 Maroons also will be remembered for their outstanding effort, man for man, in this strange season. They could have won one or two more games except for a few lost fumbles, untimely penalties and other misfortunes. Of course they brought some of those upon themselves, but many times the bad breaks seemed to happen when they were simply frustrated with their own performance or when they were just plain worn out. With only 22 men on the squad, most of them play both offense and defense so the sideline rest periods are brief, to say the least.

This Thursday night is homecoming at Perry high school and the Maroons will be playing Meeker, another tough district opponent, in an 8 o'clock game at Daniels Field. The 1995-96 football queen will be crowned at 7:30 p.m. in a pre-game ceremony, and you can bet the Maroons of Coach Ralph Baker will be sucking it up again and trying valiantly to post a victory. The stands should be packed that night. Let's all try to be there. It's on Thursday night instead of Friday because of this week's annual fall meeting of the Oklahoma Education Association.

Besides the coronation pageantry on this week's menu and the excitement of the game itself, any evening of football at Perry stadium offers fans a really spectacular show. Band director Sandy Hentges has another extremely good aggregation this year, both in marching and in concert playing. Their field musical and marching performances, along with the pom pon squad and the cheerleaders, will get your spirit aroused, and into the game. The well-choreographed halftime shows are intended to please those of us in the stands both on a visual and auditory level. It's a real treat to see and hear these youngsters perform.

Thanks to the Perry Quarterback club and a host of PHS Maroon supporters, we also have a very classy football program handed to us without charge at each home game. Along with complete rosters of the high school, freshman, eighth grade and seventh grade squads, the program has photos of the 1995 seniors and a group picture of the freshman team; names of high school and mid-high cheerleaders, pom pon squad members, their faculty sponsors and coaches.

But there is even more: The words to our unique school song, "Dear Ol' Perry High," are clearly printed on the inside of the back cover, along with the words to our equally distinctive PHS fight song, "Fight On for Perry." I wonder how many high schools our size have their very own school song and fight song? None, I would guess.

Warenne Kennedy Harris, daughter of the late Mr. and Mrs. Ivan Kennedy, wrote the music and lyrics for "Dear 0l' Perry High" in 1932 when she was a student at Oklahoma A.&M. college. Warenne, a member of the class of 1930 at PHS, went on to become a successful professional pianist and now makes her home in Canoga Park, Calif. Glenn Yahn asked her to write the school song on behalf of the Perry Poor Boys club, a newly formed "civic" club at the time. Glenn says he asked Warenne to write the song on a Tuesday and requested that it be ready by Friday. She came through on schedule, and Prof. Leopold Radgowsky's PHS band introduced it to the public that night at a homecoming football game. Until then, Perry's school song had been "Cheers, Cheers for Old Perry High," a variation of the Notre Dame school song which many, many schools besides PHS had adapted for their use.

The Poor Boys thought a school like Perry should have something uniquely its own, so they turned to Warenne and she came up with a real winner. Most of those other schools are still using their version of the Notre Dame song.

The fight song, "Fight On for Perry," came along in the 1967-68 school year when the PHS band director at that time, Jim Hayes, wrote it for us during his one-year stay here. Both the songs are originals, although the fight song is an adaptation of one that had been written by Mr. Hayes for another school before he came to Perry. The last we knew of Mr. Hayes, he was a high school band director in Colorado. He came to Perry from Norman.

So, as stated earlier, all loyal sons and daughters of Dear Old Perry High, along with everyone else who resides in this community, should be counted among those present at the homecoming game this Thursday night. Enjoy the contest, the coronation and all the other sights and sounds of the evening. Read the information in your program thoroughly and join in singing both of the school songs when the band plays them. Maybe you'll catch one of those miniature footballs tossed into the crowd by cheerleaders, or maybe you'll catch something else -- the PHS school spirit! We can be proud of our football squad, band, pom pon girls and cheerleaders, plus everyone and everything else that contributes to our pleasure that night, including our very own school song and fight song.