Story by Red Bank Regional Student Ella Brockway

LITTLE SILVER--The football game may be over, but the excitement sure won’t end anytime soon.

The halls of Red Bank Regional are still decorated from last week’s Homecoming festivities. Pictures of the senior football players floating in waves are still pinned up on bulletin boards. A huge mural in one hallway shows a giant wave, with “Wash Away the Caseys” written on it and little shamrocks are suspended in the water. My personal favorite is the Buc version of the famous Lilo and Stitch quote on the banner in the Commons, where many RBR students eat lunch: “Ohana means Family. Family means no Buc left behind.”

No one’s bothered to take anything down from the Hawaiian-themed Homecoming weekend, and nobody really seems to mind.

Senior Sean Naiman sits in the Commons on a Monday afternoon. On the field, he’s a senior defensive end and tight end for the Bucs who is spearheading one of the best defenses in the Shore, and is currently in the polls for best lineman in the conference on NJ.com.

But at this table as school lets out for the day, he’s just a kid with a smile that’s been on his face since Friday night.

“Everywhere I go, there have been people telling me ‘congrats’. It’s amazing,” Naiman says. “Everyone’s still so excited about it. We can’t stop thinking about it.”

It’s been just under three days since the Buccaneers of Red Bank Regional defeated Red Bank Catholic, 24-21, for their first win over their crosstown rivals since 2004. The game itself was a thrill ride, full of everything that makes high school football as special as it is. Fumbles. Sacks. Touchdowns. Stops. Fifty-yard runs. Fifty-yard game-winning runs. Hugs. Tears. Laughs. Smiles. Not necessarily in that order.

I’m a junior at RBR right now, and I remember standing on the football field in 2013 writing my first story about the Bucs for the school newspaper. I was a nervous freshman trying to pull some journalistic wonder out of a magic hat and attempting to describe the 1-9 season the Bucs had that year without saying “we’ll improve” and “we’ll get there”.

Suddenly, it’s 2015, and I’m writing for something bigger than the school newspaper, about something much bigger than a one-win season. The Bucs are 6-0, and are at the top of the B-North division after wins over RBC, Wall, Ocean, Raritan, Neptune and Colts Neck. We just won a game against a Goliath so powerful that some thought that RBR-RBC shouldn’t even be called a rivalry anymore, because the scores of recent games had been so one-sided: 53-0 Caseys, 49-6 Caseys, and 47-0 Caseys.

Three years later, we’re “there”. Maroon and white are not just seen around campus anymore. You can find people wearing Buc Pride shirts in restaurants, stores, even at the elementary and middle schools in Red Bank, Little Silver and Shrewsbury. The reported attendance at the RBC game was 3,872--some of whom were there because we were playing RBC, and the others because, well, the Bucs are back.

Photo by Mark Brown/B51 Photography.

“It’s really cool that we can put so many memories into people’s minds, and make people remember us,” Naiman adds.

RBR English teacher Michael Canning begins almost every weekday morning by reading a quote over the loudspeaker before classes officially start at 7:35 A.M. Usually, his quotes come from a great historical figure, or a famous author.

Monday morning’s quote did not come from Lewis Carroll or Abraham Lincoln. It came from a more familiar face--head football coach Nick Giglio.

“We’ve had our defeats. We’ve had bad defeats,” Canning read, the words taken from an interview Giglio did after Friday’s win. “At the end of the day, it did not stop us from believing that this was going to happen eventually. I’m very proud of our guys.”

This win has been more than just a win to us. This season is more than just a season. It’s brought us back after a long time of waiting silently for a win, or a touchdown, or just a spark to light a fire that was out for too long.

Photo by Mark Brown/B51 Photography.

Everyone I’ve talked to this week, from students and teachers at school, to alumni on Facebook and a man in an RBR shirt standing in line at a luncheonette in Little Silver on Sunday morning, has said some variation of the same phrase: “I just can’t believe we won.”

That’s right. We, not they.

No Buc left behind.

Story by Red Bank Regional Student Ella Brockway