Once in awhile, a high school program comes up with a cool idea that should stand as a tradition for a long time to come. Here's hoping the campus-to-campus walk by Westlake (Calif.) Oaks Christian School to Westlake (Calif.) High on Thursday night becomes one of those events.
With two of Southern California's top football programs situated just a peaceful, 20-minute walk from one another, longtime Oaks Christian coach Bill Redell thought it would be a good idea for his team to walk the distance between the two campuses rather than take the traditional buses to the game.
On Thursday, Redell and Oaks Christian put the coach's plan into action, donning their team-issued sweats and following two Oaks Christian banner holders on the brief hike between the two schools.
The pedestrian trip may not live up to the legendary stadium entrances of Notre Dame, Alabama or Tennessee, but it definitely had an aura to it, complete with honking fans, a sheriff's car and a flag wielding spirit guard.
"I don't want to hear any talking," Redell told his team before it started the walk. "This is a business trip."
If the serene silence during the video clip you see above is any indication, Redell got what he wanted.
There's no real reason why Oaks Christian needed to walk to the game, but doing so may have made the Lions realize what a special matchup they were heading into. Hours later, Westlake's offense would reinforce that perception when it jumped to a 37-14 lead in the third quarter. Oaks Christian would eventually get buses back to their own campus after a 43-21 loss.
Of course, that's not necessarily to say that the Oaks Christian defense was tired out by the walk to Westlake. In fact, as you can see in the video above, the only person who seemed to break any kind of a sweat in the brief sojourn was Redell himself.
Maybe two years from now, Redell won't wear the jacket half of his sweats. Here's hoping the great Westlake walk will make another appearance that year, and for years thereafter.
- Oaks Christian