Plymouth High School football is bringing back 'Rocky Top' - Fox 28: South Bend, Elkhart IN News, Weather, Sports

Plymouth High School football is bringing back 'Rocky Top'

(Courtesy of Plymouth Schools) (Courtesy of Plymouth Schools)
PLYMOUTH - Plymouth Community Schools announced Friday they will again be playing the song "Rocky Top" during Plymouth High School football games this coming year, but only the instrumental version.

In a release, Plymouth Schools Superintendent Daniel Tyree acknowledged that they stopped playing the song at games last season after receiving complaints from "a handful of community members" about the lyrical content of the song. Now, "after careful examination of the facts" Tyree says the instrumental version of the song will be played during games.

"The Rocky Top Tennessee song is not our Plymouth High School fight song, nor will it ever be," Tyree said. "However, the Rocky Top Tennessee song has become part of our PHS football program's culture and elimination of the song from our program's culture we feel just isn't right."

Tyree says the details are still being worked out, but is hopeful that focus can now be shifted to developing young men and winning games.

Elliot Eads graduated from Plymouth High School last year and played for the football time during his time there. He was happy to hear Rocky Top is back and says there is a solution to not having lyrics. "Everyone knows the words that have always been sung. And they'll continue to sing them I'm sure," Eads said.

Players say they were upset when the Superintendent pulled the song last season. "Just having it taken away last year right before our homecoming game was devastating to the team," senior safety and wide receiver Kyle Lacefield said.

Players say the news about the songs return spread quickly through social media. They were very excited to know they will hear Rocky Top played on their home field after every touchdown.

"It's exciting. It's nice hearing the crowd. It's just exhilarating," Lacefield said.

"I didn't even know about this. I just got the news and I'm still stunned," senior center Kevin Escobar said.

Head Football Coach John Barron says he was proud of the way his team handled losing the song last season, especially given how much attention the issue drew. He met with the Superintendent last night where he learned of the news of the song's return. He says he's confident the high school band will do the song justice without lyrics.

There was also one other thing Barron was sure of. "I'll be honest with you, as a head coach, our opponents hate it. The opposing coaches hate Rocky Top. It's a very obnoxious song but we love it," Barron said.

Barron was also celebrating his birthday on Friday. He says he will meet with the school's principal and band director next week to work out the details of playing Rocky Top.

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