Come and Take It


by Alex Le
Eagle Editorial Board

“Come and take it.”

Few teams have tried and succeeded at Granger Stadium. Having the best football season in five years, the Eagles have many things to credit for their success, one being the new cannon.

The cannon started as a very realistic idea from three sophomores: Chris Blackwood, Andrew Scroggins and Matt Richards.

These three Eagle Scouts implemented the idea and proposed it to Director of Student Activities Joe O’Brien.

“When they came up to me, I said sure because most people don’t carry through with their ideas,” O’Brien said. “A month before homecoming, they came up to me with the real thing. I was shocked. The kids gave Father [Fulton] a demonstration, and he was simply amazed.”

“My first initial reaction was no, followed by another no, but my third reaction was a yes,” Principal Rev. Patrick Fulton, C.S.B., said. “This happened in a span of three seconds.”

One of the men behind the cannon is sophomore Chris Blackwood. Blackwood recently became an Eagle Scout and loves to build random but inventive things, from a table made out of pencils to a BB gun made out of paper and rubber band. Blackwood loves to spend time playing football and coming up with ideas to build later.

“I’ve come up with pretty crazy ideas that I’d like to make one day,” Blackwood said. “I can’t exactly say what they are. I’m thinking of even patenting the idea. It’s great.”

Blackwood’s inventiveness seems to be a driving component to the making of the cannon. The idea came from seeing an example of a smaller cannon.

“Scroggins’ uncle had a mini cannon in the house,” Blackwood said. “We just took off with the idea. We liked the idea of the cannon and what it could mean for our school spirit.”

“The technology of the cannon is not as complicated as it looks,” Blackwood said. “A mix between calcium carbide powder and water mixes to produces a flammable vapor. The technology speaks for itself. You can feel it when the cannon is shot.”

The cannon is shot at the beginning of football games and when the Eagles score during football games, when the crowd is at its loudest.

The cannon’s guardians are “Patty’s Brigade,” the group of cowboys dressed in red, acting as the “defenders” of the cannon and consists of the makers of the cannon.

“I hand picked out the members of Patty’s Brigade because they are the makers of the cannon and should be taking care of it,” junior and Eagle Guard member John Mouton said. “I don’t know what’s flashier: the cannon when it shoots or their outfits.”

The cannon adds another dimension to football games. Until this year, the Eagles’ football team has been drab and lifeless. The cannon seems to have woken up the spirits of the team and the fans. More people are attending games and the student’s hopes for the football team have been higher than these past years.

“I started going to the games because I know we have a hope of winning, unlike previous years here,” senior Harrison Ayala said.

“I love the new cannon,” junior Jeff Barnwell said. “It gets me in the mood for the football games and its something that few other schools have.”

O’Brien seemed to like the idea.

“I hope this is a tradition we can keep at St. Thomas for a long time,” O’Brien said.

There are other factors that have come into play with the Eagles’ success, but the cannon puts the fans and players into the long missed “Friday night lights” mood.