There’s a famous slogan from the Liverpool Soccer team from England’s Premier League. It’s more like a rallying cry for the club’s passionate fan base. It simply boasts: “You’ll Never Walk Alone.”
The premise of this slogan — or usually chant during the soccer matches — is simple: as a Liverpool fan, they believe that no matter where you are, there’s a fellow fan somewhere with you. Their belief in their fan base transcends borders, territories and soccer rivalries.
I can’t help but feel that way about our own tribe as well, our Tehachapi Warriors fan base. You see, it’s not an unlikely sight to be sitting at a football game, or any sport for that matter ,and catch a fan wearing an old championship hat or T-shirt. See them wearing a jacket that pre-dates many of us or simply making it a point to come see their team, even though their own children are decades removed from the field. They cherish the memories and take seriously their belonging to this group.
It’s that sort of charm and pride that ensures that everywhere you travel in this town, you’re bound to run into at least one person with some sort of Tehachapi Warriors apparel. We aren’t like Bakersfield or the Antelope Valley where our many high school options are simply the place our kids are drawn to play. Take notice the next time you’re off the hill and see how many adults you see wearing a high school T-shirt or cap not on a Friday night. Then come back home and do the same study here. You’ll be amazed by the results.
Unlike our surrounding counterparts, we are more like those dedicated English soccer fans who take pride in the one team representing their town. We too share that passion, although I’ll admit, we would have to take it up several notches to reach that famed fanatic level.
Point being, our dedication to one school, to one program draws parallels to international giants in the sports world. I not only notice it locally, but as a proud alum as well. There’s nothing better than a gathering of old Warrior football players across multiple generations to remind you that we are all kin in the family that is Warrior. We share the common bond with one another, that we too spent time on that field, in that uniform, for this town.
The best part about what we have is that our foundation for greatness has already been built. Tradition speaks louder than any other form of motivation for a current team on the field. There’s pride in being as good if not better than your predecessors. Let me tell you from experience, that simply does not happen in many of the flavor-of-the-day high schools that grow like oranges in the San Joaquin Valley. You think the tradition of a 10-year-old school matters? Come on, call me in 70 years and we’ll chat.
It’s that tradition, that noticeable pride and that feeling of belonging that has and will continue to set Tehachapi apart. That bond, like that of our English soccer friends, has a transcendent quality. It makes you always feel like you are part of something.
So I, like many others, am proud to walk in the Warriors family. It’s comforting to know that I, too, will never walk alone.
Corey Costelloe has covered the NCAA, professional and local sports for more than 20 years as a reporter and broadcaster. A THS graduate, he now resides and works in Tehachapi. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. The opinions expressed are his own.