Last weekend one of the largest crowds ever to watch a tackle football game in the Virgin Islands showed up at the Educational Complex football field to watch the Barracudas take on the Central High Caribs. The game in itself was not too highly contested as the home team Barracudas, led by more than 200 rushing yards from star running back Brandon James, mauled the Caribs 42-0.
It was the sounds and overall festiveness that created an atmosphere reminiscent of the TV show, "Friday Night Lights."
There were the Barracudas marching band, along with dancers and cheerleaders stirring up the Barracudas wildly cheering fans during play and entertaining the pack grandstand at halftime.
After being absent from the territory for several years, tackle football has been back for a while now, but last Saturday night was the best turnout anyone can remember watching a high school football game on St. Croix. This turnout, however, seems like it may be the norm for future games as there seemed to be renewed interest in the sport by players as well as fans. The Barracudas have a roster of more than 60 players and Coach Jason Woodard said he actually had to cut players because so many showed up for tryouts.
The Caribs roster is not as big, and they, according to Coach Tyler, are in a rebuilding year with a team made up mostly of freshmen and sophomores, but the interest is there.
This Friday’s contest between the Caribs and Private Schools Pirates should see another large turnout. Central, with its large student body, parents and alumni will be well supported but so will the Pirates, who are made up of players from all of the private schools on St. Croix and will draw fans from all of those campuses. The game will also be a match-up of winless teams both trying to claw their way out of the cellar.
Game time is at 7 p.m. and it, along with all games on St. Croix, will be played at the St. Croix Educational Football Field.