Doddsy Dinger-1974 LHS State Champion Football Legends visit Tiger practiceNovember 27, 2019
This morning as most teams would be in a gym going through walkthroughs on a blistery, snowy day like today….Our State Championship Game bound La Grande Tigers were out practicing in it. They were met at the end of practice by some very special visitors. Six players and three coaches from the 1974 La Grande High School State Championship Football team(the last La Grande football team to win a state title) showed up to motivate, inspire and mingle with this great group of young men. There were many familiar faces for me as many of those that showed up from the 74 team are or have been coaches or teachers in this community. La Grande High School Athletic Director Darren Goodman started the festivities off by handing each of the 74 alum a La Grande Football hat and scarf which was perfect for the weather. I heard one of the guys from the 74 team say “this is just right for the game on Saturday” in regards to the nice LHS scarf. After practice players from both teams posed for pictures, the 74 players talked shortly with the players followed by a prayer. Coach McIlmoil then huddled up players from both teams for a powerful, unified “break”. The current players listened to stories and chatted with the legends while consuming awe inspiring amounts of pizza. I’m not going to lie I was so caught up in the moment that I didn’t even interview anyone. It was not only a privilege to be there it was an honor as well. The Tigers have a couple more days of practice and then they travel to Hermiston for a game against Banks with a State Championship on the line. For the 22 Seniors on this La Grande team it will be their last game ever as a Tiger. For some of them it will be their last game of organized football ever. These young men have one goal left to achieve and that is to become the first team since 1974 to bring a State Football Title back to La Grande and it is well within reach. Being on the sidelines and a member of media it is going to be so hard for me not to cheer for my alma mater and I am sure I will sneak a few in. Let’s continue to get behind this team and cheer these young men to a state title….It is a Great Day To Be a Fightin Tiger.