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Saranac Lake lines up against Massena (Photos:  Brian Mann)
Saranac Lake lines up against Massena (Photos: Brian Mann)

Audio Postcard: A perfect fall day for football

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This has been a year for the record books in Saranac Lake. The Red Storm football team hasn't just gone undefeated.

They've dominated their opponents by a combined score of 266-to-8.

Saturday's game against the Massena Red Raiders was the last home game of the season for the squad. Brian Mann was there and sent this audio postcard.

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Fall color frames the scoreboard

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Brian Mann
Adirondack Bureau Chief

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Chris Covert leans on the fence at the 20-yard line, looking out across the striped green field. 

 "It's gorgeous, not a cloud in the sky," he says.  "Mckenzie Mountain in the background, gold trees, red and white uniforms on the field."

 Covert doesn’t have a kid on the team, but in this village on Saturday afternoons this is the place to be – a gathering spot even for people who don’t much like football.

 The national anthem plays as the stands fill with people in crimson jackets and ballcaps.  Some families have followed the Red Storm squad for generations. 

 "The atmosphere here on a Saturday afternoon has been like this since I was a little kid," says Tim Munn, who was a start defensive back on this field in high school. 

He was inducted this weekend into the Saranac Lake sports hall of fame.  

He watches with satisfaction as the Red Storm does a number on the rival team – the Red Raiders from Massena.  

Munn coaches the JV football squad now and says especially in times like these – when jobs are scarce and the economy is sour – a winning season means a lot.

"It gives everybody in the community something to talk about, enjoy, other than the everyday struggles of life," he says.  "And I think everybody has always rallied around the football program.  It’s just a wonderful thing and I hope it continues forever."

 This is the final home game of a season that has been extraordinary with the undefeated Red Storm allowing opposing teams to score only eight points all year.   

 On the sidelines, the spirit squad claps and chants, "Let’s go reds!  Hey yeah, let’s go reds!"

 But on this day, the numbers on the scoreboard hardly seem to matter to fans like Rick Cassidy who watches from the sidelines in his lawn chair.  

 "You know it’s the camaraderie and getting out on a day like this – it’s better than golf because you don’t get upset," he laughs.

This is football, so there are plenty of bodies cracking.  The ball spirals against the pale sky. 

But half the fun of this day is the maples and the birch flaring on the mountainsides

It’s the smell of hot dogs roasting and that pep band sound echoing through the village one more time before winter sets in.

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