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Hornets Put Small Town on the Map

Hamilton plays for their third state title in four years Friday. 

(HAMILTON, Mo.) Hamilton may be small town tucked away in northwest Missouri, b
ut the boys of fall continue to put the town's name on the map.

Phones rang off the hook Tuesday and secretaries worked to fill ticket orders as the Hornets are on the doorstep of their third state championship in four years. 

For a blue collar town, that's the business of Friday night football. 

In Hamilton, business is booming.

"The mayor was talking about me turning the lights off Thursday because nobody's going to be in town," Athletic Director Dave Richman said. "It's a costly trip, especially now when money is tight. People look at it as a vacation or a holiday."

A population of just over 1,800. An area of just under one and a half square miles.

A team that just keeps winning.

"They'll say 'Hamilton's good every year. What's the deal? What's going on?' It's not a fluke, it's nonstop. My wife has made the comment several times that this is the 'goingest' place she's ever been to."

"From top to bottom, it's phenominal. It starts with our junior high program," Principal Tim Schieber said. "Our kids come through, and when Coach Fairchild and the other high school staffers get them, they know what's expectecd."

"They're not awed by it by any stretch," head coach Dave Fairchild said. "They know what the task is and what they need to do to get ready for that."

Fairchild, in his 26th year at the helm of the Hamilton program, is off to a 14-0 start in 2012. In the two seasons since their last Class 1 title, Valle Catholic, the team's title game opponent, has taken over as cream of the class.

The Warriors earned their fourth straight berth to the championship Saturday with a 14-6 win against Concordia. It was Valle Catholic who the Hornets defeated 21-17 to pick up the 2009 Class 1 Championship before capturing the 2010 crown in Class 2. 

Folks in Hamilton feel it's time their boys beat the two-time defending champs Saturday and reclaim that spot.

"People have a little spring in their step. They're smiling and out and about," Richman said. "You see people at game that I haven't seen the rest of the year."

"When i came here 21 years ago, that's one of the things that drew me to this town: The importance of extra-curricular activities," Schieber said "When you go to meeting and other things, people recognize the school name."

The effort to bring the trophy back to Hamilton extends beyond the folks with helmets and whistles.

For the locals, it's a personal matter.

"It is pretty amazing, just from the standpoint that if you need anything, people are always willing to help," Fairchild said. 

"People calling an saying, 'What can we do to help the team? Is there a kid that needs something? Is there a family that needs something?'" Schieber said. "It's not just about going and watching the kids. It's about making sure the kids have everything they need to make it a special time."

A special time to feel the turf at the Edward Jones Dome once again.

No flash. No flare.

Just a big goal for a small town.

"They don't really care who gets the credit as long as the job gets done," Fairchild said. "I think that might be a little unique to our program."
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