It’s not just Kewanee’s Hog Days kicking off this Labor Day weekend, Kewanee High School’s football team also takes the field for their first home game of the season.

But one sound of that game is unique for the Boilermakers. 

Kewanee High School Band Director Alex Binek said, “It starts out ‘On, ever on Kewanee High School.’”

Anticipation building as the first Friday Night Lights of the season nears.

The pep band’s new uniforms pressed and instruments tuned, they’re getting the arraignments just right for when they take the field.

But there’s one song.

Binek said, “We’ll probably play it 20 times every football game or so.”

The school song is unlike any other.

Binek said, “Dorothy McGrath and Forrest Keller wrote the song as seniors in 1923.”

At their graduation, their original lyrics and music became the official school’s melody.

Binek said, “Became the fight song, played it at athletic events for the last 95 years.”

Binek said, “Proud in that we have a unique school song. So many schools borrow from colleges or universities and our, it is a Kewanee song. The original title is the Kewanee School Song.”

In the stands, the tune resounds.

Binek said, “That roll off of the school song hits, everybody stands, everybody’s clapping. You can see the pride in their eyes.”

To keep pushing forward against the opponent. 

Binek said, “‘Sometimes the score be against us, let no one say we failed to try.’ So it’s all about effort, it’s all about a growth mindset. Being the best version of yourself.”

And on with the game.

Binek said, “Kids can do pretty amazing things when they’re motivated when they have school pride behind them.”