Warrior - More Than a Name

Speech given at the school pep rally before the 1999 Salamanca - Leroy, state regional playoff game

About seven years ago I received a phone call from Howard Redeye, a former Salamanca football player (#76), avid football fan. Howard, at that time, was the director of the Seneca Nation Recreation Department. He related to me there was a movement by a few Senecas, under the guise of "cultural sensitivity," who wanted to change the Warrior name and its symbol at Salamanca High. This misguided effort created quite a stir of emotions within the Seneca and Salamanca communities. Without getting into too much detail, it didn't take long to make people realize that sensitivity has two sides.

After I asked myself why does the "Warrior" name stir such emotion? Well, of course, my first step was to look in a dictionary and it defines a "Warrior" as a person who is engaged in a test, struggle or conflict. To me that definition lacked something. As I thought further; that definition didn't mention anything of courage.

A Warrior has to have courage because courage is the measure of all Warriors. What is courage? Well, courage is the mental or moral strength to venture,persevere and withstand danger, fear or difficulty. Well how do Warriors come to be? Warriors aren't born, but they are molded by older Warriors who pass on their knowledge, wisdom and inspiration.

How does this apply to Salamanca Football? The test of Salamanca Warriors, past, present and future is and has been about upholding and furthering tradition. The measure of their courage is documented by their their deeds. The Warrior name and its symbolism is a badge of honor. The test, the courage, the honor is what stirs emotions.

Its about football, about tradition ...it's an attitude!!