For the first time tonight the Patrick Henry High School band was not allowed to play their unofficial fight song, “Dixie.”
The school system stopped the use of the song last month, a move that many within the community did not like. Thousands signed a petition to keep “Dixie,” to no avail.
“There’s not a thing wrong with Dixie. I love it,” says C.W. Rector, a Patrick Henry High grandparent.
Many parents and students are upset that a song they see as a decades-long tradition is now a thing of the past.
“It’s a bummer to me just because I grew up around here and it’s just been a school tradition,” says Molly Surber, parent and former student.
School district leaders said they are phasing out “Dixie” to bring in a new, official fight song called “Lion of Liberty” for the band to play.
“I think it’s crazy. I think they should leave it the way it was, it’s been that way for a long time,” says parent Michelle Hall.
“Just with the way the world is today everybody is either sensitive or not, and everybody feels like they have a right to their opinion, which they do. But I think at some point we have to decide what is really important. It’s a school fight song,” says Surber.
Some fans at the game said they are okay with the change.
“Of course it’s tradition, but traditions can be broken. As far as the fight song, I have no problem with them not playing it any longer, but the problem I have is, where does it stop?” says Ronald Herald, former student.
Many long-time fans say they will miss hearing “Dixie” echo throughout the stands.
“I wish they would switch it back to dixie,” says Hall.
They decided to only play the fight song at the game when the team scored touchdowns, instead of at halftime as well like in the past.