CAYCE, S.C. -- Cary Hart jumped from his chair last Friday night, roaring as he watched on television when Mansfield Senior won a Division III state football semifinal game in double overtime.
What the 1982 Malabar High School graduate didn't know was his wife, Heidi, a 1988 Lucas graduate, was recording his spontaneous and raucous celebration on her cell phone.
Had no idea my wife was recording, but too proud not to share. In Columbia, SC watching my hometown @TYger_Football clinch a berth in Ohio D3 state football championship. Hoping her alma mater does the same. #tygernation #theField #finish #cufriday #wearelucas #goCubs #cuSaturday pic.twitter.com/lgsfGmdIgf— Cary Hart (@Bucknut17) November 30, 2019
Once that 16-second video was posted on Twitter, the world knew that the Tygers and Cubs were truly united. Cary Hart returned the favor on Saturday, recording and posting Heidi's own postgame celebration when Lucas punched its ticket for Canton.
The Harts, living in Lexington County, South Carolina, are the perfect family for Richland County, Ohio, sharing their love for the first two local high school teams to advance to state title football games.
Cary Hart is now a middle school teacher in Columbia, which is in Richland County in that state. Heidi Hart, who worked in the Lucas School District for several years, recently launched her own gift wrapping business.
They moved to South Carolina in 2005. Ironically, their three children graduated from Lexington High School in the Palmetto State.
Though living and working about 600 miles away from their childhood residences, the Harts may have never felt closer to home.
The couple will be flying back to Ohio on Friday with plans to attend Mansfield Senior's game Friday at 3 p.m. against Trotwood-Madison and the Lucas game Saturday at 10 a.m. against Maria Stein Marion Local.
Cary Hart, who ran cross country and played baseball at Malabar, was a Falcon when running back George Swarn was terrorizing defenses. He picked up on the Tygers this season when the playoff run began a month ago.
"I saw they were in the semifinals (last Friday) and I knew I had to watch the game somehow," Hart said.
He purchased the Ohio High School Athletic Association per game broadcast and was on the edge of his seat as the Tygers knocked off Aurora.
"It was not a real good feed, but for $10, we could see well enough," said Hart, who also coached baseball and girls' basketball at Lucas.
"I had no idea she was (filming) at the end of the game," Hart said. "She was just sitting there on the couch with her phone. We didn't post the whole thing ... I was an emotional basket case.
"I am brown-and-orange all the way," he said. "We are so excited for all of the kids at both schools."