Spirit of the Season

Once a Bulldog, Always a Bulldog… so the slogan goes, stamped on every piece of Lindenhurst paraphernalia this side of Wellwood Avenue, and beyond. And it’s true. I have not been a student of the Lindenhurst school district since 2000; but, come every Homecoming, I am there - along the parade route, in the stands, on the sidelines - snapping pictures for this very paper and cheering on the home team with the rest of the crowd, many of them fellow alumni.

And last weekend, I was among the thousands who tuned in to watch the Lindy Bulldogs defeat the Oceanside Sailors in the Long Island Tournament - Division I Final, following their perfect 12-0 season. What a proud moment it was, to see this team go all the way for the very first time in their storied history, supported by their throng of loyal fans. And later that night, as the team buses returned to the streets of Lindy, they were met by hundreds of proud community members lining the route, stretching from town hall all the way to the high school. 

What a wonderful sight to behold, to witness an entire town rally behind a team, an organization, a common cause. I imagine many towns across Long Island have experienced this at one time or another; it is this type of camaraderie which forges a connection that cannot be broken. Years later, residents will remember moments like these, and pass them along to their children and grandchildren. 

Perhaps this particular occasion was made all the more special coming as it did at the start of the holiday season, providing an added element to an already-festive atmosphere. What began as a mere dream back in September turned into victory parades through town and more recognition than any individual could have ever hoped to receive. Even still, it remains a team victory; no man above the rest, all united in their Lindy Pride. 

Browsing through some of the many videos shared on social media following the victory, I came across one that appeared to be posted immediately following, taken during the post-game meeting of coaches and players. As the head coach praised the outstanding accomplishments of the season, he made sure to mention the town, the people, the community they all called home - without them, he said, none of this would have been possible. 

And that, in the end, is the most humbling achievement of all. Seventeen years later, I remain a proud Bulldog. Always. 

 

{December 6th, 2017}

Jamie Lynn RyanComment