For students at one Quad City area high school, tonight was their last home basketball game ever.
Next school year, the Abingdon, Illinois Commandos will not exist. That’s because in the 2013-2014 school year, the Abingdon School District will consolidate with the Avon School District.
On Friday, February 15th, 2013, it was standing room only in the stands as students – past and present – cheered on the commandos for the last time. And no matter the age – young or old – the reason to root is to celebrate their roots.
“My dad graduated in ’39, my brother in ’67, my sister in ’70, and myself in ’74,” says Amy Grider (Faralli). “We loved Abingdon and I know my Dad would want me here.”
“We’ve had five generations graduate from Abingdon High School in the last 100 years,” says Bill Day, Class of ’59.
To commemorate 70 years of Commandos, many brought momentos. BIll shared one of the original varsity letters with WQAD, which was his uncle’s in 1942. In the second row of the stands, a man named Mark Moon wore his class cardigan from 1943.
“I’m proud of this sweater and I’m proud of this patch because there was only three of us on the team that were all-stars,” says Mark, who played football the first year the Commandos became the school district’s mascot.
Right after he graduated, Mark joined the Navy. So, as a serviceman himself, people were calling him Mr. Commando.
Years as students, but decades as supporters… these Abingdon Alum say tonight is a sprint down memory lane, but a night and a name they will never forget.