An emotional victory. It is the title of the game, the meaning behind the win, the phrase that best describes their, near seconds to the end of the game victory. With two seconds on the clock, HHS brought the game to over time. This put them in the position to take back their field. Their home. Minutes remained in the over time. Minutes of intensity. High emotions. The crowd, a filled stadium, screaming, cheering, coaches clenching their hands in an intense display eagerness for their team, students, parents, friends, family, spectators; all, produced a sense of pride that coursed through everyone's fiber and took the cold right out of them. The Knight's took their field, that sense of pride that was pushing them down the field, and took the game and made it theirs. They owned the field for that moment and now own an overwhelming sense of self pride for their season. As coach Bob Lastowski stated very well walking off the field, drenched in pride and a coolers worth of water and ice, "they will be talking about this game for years to come".
To understand this statement, we must understand the historical pretenses that these two teams have. Holyoke and Chicopee are two teams stapled in a rivalry that creates these emotional wins. I am unsure of how far back this history goes. But, I will say that this rivalry has been something I have seen and heard about for most of my life. From family that has played for Chicopee, to my integration into Holyoke's history, I have seen both sides of this shared pride. I watch the game. Feel the game. Experience the game. See the emotion of the players and fans through the lens. I have captured the moments that made this game a piece of history.
I got to the field early. I was there to capture not only the game, but to make portraits of the players and their family's as they walked onto the field in their tradition of seniors giving flowers to the parents of the players. Today wasn't just about giving their parents a flower, it was about giving their all and more. It was very cold morning. It was only about 30 degrees outside when I got on the field and met with our photographer, Bob Gordon of True Resolution. I had a feeling today was going to be one of those days. The kind of day that was worth embarking the cold for. By the end of the game, this thought was a reality. As we were setting up our cameras and discussing what was going on for the day. Another photographer appeared and our conversation turned towards the game and what each other was on the field for. We had a common interest. Capture this game. The images below show the game, the emotion, and the strength of the team to pull forward and take their field and pride to state.