PANAMA CITY, Fla. (WMBB) – The North Bay Haven football team is preparing for their Military and First Responder appreciation game this Friday at Pete Edwards Field.
The team and coaches will be wearing special uniforms and attire, will have displays for every branch of service, and will even have red white and blue smoke as well as a tank at the field to create a fun and appreciative environment.
The high school will also recognize and swear in the Buccaneers who will be joining the military after graduation, and head coach Andy Siegal said that his team knows how important it is to show their respect.
“I think it’s huge because this community is military,” Siegal said. “If you go around and ask, I bet one out of three people have some sort of straight military affiliation with the military. You know, in my case I’m the son and grandson of a marine, so obviously I understand, I grew up by Fort Sharron Army base, I totally get it, I think this is important. Most of our kids have some kind of connection to the military or first responders or both, so it’s a great opportunity to give back to our kids as well.”
Siegal said that the festivities will begin well before the game, and to be sure to show up early. He also made sure to tell his players that the night will be much bigger than football.
“This is real life, and this is what it’s all about, we tell them football is just a flicker in your eye but this is what it’s all about,” Siegal said. “What these people do for us allows them to play the game that they love, if it wasn’t for our military and it wasn’t for our first responders we wouldn’t be able to play football. So, it’s kind of their way of doing what they’re able to do, which is God blessed them with the ability to play football, give back to them, and give them a night they can appreciate and be thanked.”
North Bay Haven is playing just their second game of the season as last week’s match was canceled due to covid concerns within the franklin county program. The Bucs will host Munroe on Friday at Pete Edwards Field, kickoff is set for 7 p.m.