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Fans boo after announcement that National Anthem won’t be played before game; sing it anyway

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Anthony Galaviz and Bryant-Jon Anteola
The Fresno Bee

Before Clovis High played Buchanan Friday night for the Central Section softball championship, the announcer representing the section stated there wouldn’t be a national anthem prior to the game.

Those in attendance at Fresno State’s Margie Wright Diamond weren’t having any of that.

Following a loud chorus of boos, the patriotic crowd stood up and began singing “The Star-Spangled Banner” a cappella.

Many removed their hats and placed their hands over their hearts. Others simply stood tall with pride.

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Players stopped their pregame warmups to turn around and face the American flag that waved beyond the center-field wall.

When the song was over, the crowd burst into a round of applause.

The teams went on to play ball.

Event coordinator Bob Kayajanian of the Central Section said it was a mistake on his part.

“The national protocol is the first game of the session you have the national anthem,” he said. “The games after that are just played. We got caught (off-guard). Both the teams turned to face the field and they all started singing the national anthem. They started to play some music and the people took that as the national anthem and they all started singing, which I think is obviously a wonderful thing to show off their patriotism.

“We try to follow with what normally gets done. It’s all a learning experience for everyone and (going forward) we’re playing the national anthem at every game.”

Anthony Galaviz: 559-441-6379, @Agalaviz_TheBee

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