Kirsters Baish| With all of the anthem protests in the NFL lately, younger generations of football players have been influenced to follow in the footsteps of their favorite players. There are still, however, some high school football teams who have chosen to stand up for the American flag and everything it stands for. The Mechanicville High School Red Raiders football team is a team that truly loves America. They even bring their own American flag to every game. When they showed up at the Catholic Central High School football team stadium, their flag came in handy. They quickly realized that the football stadium didn’t even have an American flag for the anthem, so they used their own.
A lineman for the Red Raiders named Daniel Hayner explained that he felt it was disrespectful that the school stadium didn’t even have a flag and said that he was shocked upon discovering this. He then explained that he knew they needed to bring out their own flag.
“All the stuff that’s happening now with the flag and stuff…I didn’t know if it was like that or where it was.” Hayner stated. “I went over and stood at the end of our line (with the flag) and they were like, ‘No, stand in the middle of the field.’ so I went out in the middle of the field and stood there.”
The principal of the Catholic Central High School released a statement explaining that they had just had some work done on their press box and “forgot” to hang the flag back up for the game against the Red Raiders.
Robert Young, the Red Raiders athletic director, had something to say about Hayner. He explained, “It was just a spontaneous action from a boy from a small town that just had basically a notion that when you come from a community like this and the things that we try to instill upon them that there’s family, there’s community and our nation, and our country, and that really means a lot to him.”
Hayner spoke of the matter saying, “People die to protect their country and for the flag. People are disrespecting it all the time. It needs respect for the people who served the country and respect it.”
There has been so much going on in our world, and saluting the American flag should be a given. With so much disrespect towards the flag and all it stands for, we need to remind Americans what it means to be a citizen of such an amazing country. Hayner is a fine example of a true patriot. This young man wants to make sure that all Americans remember how lucky they are to be a part of this great nation.
Mechanicville High School should be very proud of Hayner and their entire football team for reminding their community what it means to be a proud American.