In Hayden, signs suggest the political divide between neighbors has been replaced by spirited reminders of something nearly everybody here shares: A love for their Tigers.
Signs read: "Get 'er done Tigers, Beat the Bulldogs, Sack 'em, We're proud of you."
Rounding out an undefeated season, the Hayden High School football team easily made it to the Class A playoffs for the first time in four years, and the town's support, as evidenced by orange and black signs in nearly every yard along Jefferson Avenue, is as strong as ever. Hayden advanced to the second round of the playoffs Saturday with a 41-21 win against Byers.
"It's pride -- the boys have it, the whole town has it," bus driver Lynn Laman said while holding cans of orange and white paint outside the SGF Building near the high school.
"They are a team, and they work together. ... I think this year especially they are really strong together."
Laman has been painting tiger paws and pep messages on windows for three weeks and was one of several people decorating the town Friday.
Melissa Bertram, who was busy draping orange and black streamers on the building's railing, has been impressed with fan turnout at the games this season.
"There is a lot of spirit. ... I see people that don't even have kids there," she said.
Hayden High School principal Troy Zabel was making sure the Tigers knew the whole town was behind them. "They've been playing their hearts out," he said while swirling orange and white tape around light poles. "They haven't let down."
At the Full Belly Deli, Dana Wheelock said she has become close with the players, many of whom visit the deli for lunch. Her son also is a freshman on the team.
She said the Tigers have worked together more this season than in the past. "They are really close this year," Wheelock said.
Nearby at the Hi Way Bar, manager Scott Penfold, who has followed the team since 1992 and has known some of the players since their days in pee wee football, said the crowds at the games this year have been tremendous.
"This is the biggest thing to hit this town in a long time as far as sports go," said Penfold, who attributes the Tigers' achievements to their speed, willingness to win, teamwork and, most importantly, their nearly flawless performance.
"There are no egos on that team ... they all play as a unit," he said.
If the team "keeps their heads" and continues to take games one at a time, they will have a good chance of bringing home their first state title, Penfold said.
He noted the Hayden Middle School football team also went undefeated this year, which bodes well for continued success at the high school level.
"I look for greater things in the next few years," he said.
Rhonda Sweetser, whose son, Tyson Sweetser, is on the team, said the high school team's undefeated season has helped the players realize the positive results from the practices they used to dread. Players also have accepted their roles on the team, even if that means changing positions, she said.
"They all just took on these jobs. ... They really gelled as a team," Sweetser said.
Ultimately, the teamwork that led the Tigers to an undefeated season is something they can be proud of, regardless of what happens in the playoffs, Penfold said.
"No matter if they win or lose," he said, "it's been a great year."