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Tyrone Golden Eagle football team to honor the fans next Friday night with the raising of the ’12th man’ flag

The Tyrone Golden Eagle football team may take the field every Friday night with eleven players, but as many opposing teams have noticed through the years, there’s one more player impacting the game – the “12th man.”
In honor of the loyalty and vocal prowess of the fans who follow the Golden Eagles all around the area each week, the players, coaches, and booster club will be dedicating a “12th man” flag that will be raised before the kickoff of the Lewistown game next Friday, October 17 at Gray-Vets Memorial Field.
The 12th man was trademarked by and originated from the Aggies of Texas A&M University in 1922. The Golden Eagle fans will now officially be recognized as having the kind of impact on a football game that can distract the visiting team or persuade a referee to make a favorable decision.
Football booster members Janet Cherry and Missy Gensimore took the initiative to find a worthy flag for purchase at the request of Golden Eagle Head Coach John Franco. The flag will be raised on the same pole that the American flag and state championship flag waves proudly at every home game.
The idea was sparked by Franco while he was watching Army play a game on television, where his son Johnny now plays football. Army’s opponent happened to be Texas A&M, and when the 12th man flag was raised by the Aggies before the team came out onto the field, the excitement and roar from the fans gave the hard-nosed Tyrone coach goosebumps.
Franco and the boosters wanted a fan to raise the 12th man flag next Friday night during a dedication ceremony, and everyone involved agreed that one of Tyrone’s biggest fans, Ken Miles, also known as “The Megaphone Man,” would be the perfect candidate.
Golden Eagle game announcer, Gary McGovern, will be reading a statement about the 12th man flag before Ken raises it on Friday.
The flag will be raised before every home game from here on out, just as Texas A&M does. Franco and his players hope that the exuberant fans will turn the flag raising into a new tradition that extends the ever-present mantra of “Team, Toughness, Tyrone.”
“The 12th man has been so important since I’ve been at Tyrone,” said Franco. “Our players are really appreciative of that, and this is a tangible way of showing that appreciation.”
Ken, 58, is a great Golden Eagle fan, who has only missed one football game in the last 15 years, due to going on a trip to Florida. His daughter, Jaime (Miles) Weigand was a cheerleader for Tyrone from youth football on up to high school.
He said that he began being the loudest voice in the stadium with his megaphone back in 1995, with the help of Sam Seiner, whose son Jon, was a standout lineman for the Golden Eagles. When Jon graduated, Sam also moved on from megaphone duties.
Coincidence or not, ever since 1995 and the Franco era, Tyrone football has been nothing but successful. Perhaps Ken has become a good luck charm for the coaches and players.
“Kenny is the perfect fan to do this,” added Franco. “I thought of him first when we were deciding who would raise the flag.”
As for being asked to raise the 12th man flag on Friday, Ken said that he feels honored to be a part of it.
“I love Tyrone football,” added Ken. “I never had the opportunity to play it, but I love watching it.”
He continued, “I think this is great. I believe the Tyrone fans are the best fans. Our booster club and their support is the best in the area.”
Ken’s love for the game extends beyond Tyrone football. In years when Tyrone has taken an early exit from the playoffs, he is out watching Bellwood-Antis and other area teams making their runs to district championships.
“I just love high school football,” said Ken. “I’m usually the first one at the game every week.”
It’s people like Ken and the many other Golden Eagle fans who packed not just Gray-Vets Memorial Field, but any field Tyrone travels to, and greatly impact the outcome of the game or the spirits of the players.
The 12th man has become thousands of upbeat and dedicated fans every football season at Tyrone. Come and support the Golden Eagles next Friday against Lewistown as a “new tradition” becomes part of Tyrone football lore.