“The 12th Man” – Vero’s Friday Night Lights

Vero Beach High School Fighting Indian

Win Jake Owen tickets and dinner for two in the Vero’s Turtle Scavenger Hunt.

Vero Beach has some grand old legacies and traditions, but few are as all encompassing, all inclusive, multi-generational and FUN as Vero Beach High School’s Fighting Indians Football games.  Coaches, staff, players, students and fans have been supporting the program in grand style and great numbers for generations.  One cannot really claim to be a Vero “insider” without knowledge of the “12th Man”.  A recent article in “Vero’s Voice” defined this concept quite well:  “the 12th Man is a Vero Beach institution that exemplifies the best of our town and how we support our teams”.  Indeed, our high school football fans ARE legendary and loyal.

Monday evening was the culmination of a 2 day, nail-biting football contest between two of our area’s greatest football rivalries.  It was also an excellent example of the 12th Man.  Thousands of fans who braved rain, lightening and a postponement of Friday’s game against Fort Pierce Central, returned in force on Monday evening to cheer on the finish.  As the game resumed, Vero’s Fighting Indians were in the hole by as much as 14 points.  While intense strategizing and play-calling occurred on both sidelines; and adrenaline was at an all time high among the players; it was truly the deafening noise, exuberance and cheers of the 12th Man that gave Vero the advantage:  the Home Field Advantage!  Vero came from behind to win 31-24.

“Pride overtakes all emotions and there is absolutely nothing like it”; you can hear it at my house three miles away, the crowd is huge” are among many of the comments regarding Vero’s fan base.  Lenny Jankowski, Vero’s Head Coach, describes the 12th Man phenomena in this way:  “it’s indescribable!  The opportunity and experience that our players get by playing in this program is something they will cherish for a lifetime.”  Even when Vero has an away game, the booster club (part of 12th Man) arranges fan buses that sell out.  Away games regularly have more Vero fans than the home team.  Thank you, 12th Man and thank legendary coach Billy Livings for recognizing the importance of and coining the name:  12th Man.

Come support our hometown team and join in the excitement of Fighting Indian Varsity Football & the 12th Man at these upcoming home games.  (All games are played at the Vero Beach Citrus Bowl, Billy Livings Field on Fridaynights at 7pm sharp.)

10.10.14.   v East Lee County

10.17.14.   v Treasure Coast

10.24.14.   v Palm Beach Gardens

AND, DON’T FORGET TO PARTICIPATE IN VERO VINE’S TURTLE SCAVENGER HUNT by taking & posting a photo of one of Vero’s and the surrounding area’s Seaturtles for a chance to win Jake Owen concert tickets.  Time is running out and entry closes October 22nd.  BE CREATIVE! More Details.

Sherry Nist