Photos courtesy of Raine Hecox
When most people think about football season it’s usually the same thoughts. Crisp autumn evenings decked out in your towns team colors while watching your favorite boys of fall. But there are two other aspects that often times get overlooked. The cheerleaders, who spend the entire game keeping fans pumped up while encouraging crowd involved cheers and the band, who keeps the energy up with our favorite teams fight song and provides the halftime entertainment.
The cheer, band, and football coaches at Waldron decided to do something that would bring all three of these aspects of the upcoming season together, by letting them gain a better understanding of just how important everybody really was. On August 9, an “Appreciation Practice” was held on the Bulldog football field involving all Sr High football, cheer, and band student-athletes.
Each department was given 30 minutes to give everybody involved a taste of what it was like to walk in each other’s shoes. Cheer was first up to bat by getting everybody started with stretches. The football players and band members were then put through a high energy itinerary involving builds, jumps, a “popcorn” exercise, and a cheer routine.
Next up was band where each member partnered with a cheerleader or football player to give them a quick coarse on how to properly hold an instrument and the correct way to march. Then that knowledge was put to the test. The cheerleaders and football players were placed into formation and proceded to deliver a marching band routine.
Lastly, it was footballs turn. The football players put the cheerleaders and band members through a grueling and intense warm-up which involved exercises like high knee, dipsy doos, lunges, and the crab walk. The students were then placed into groups and taught how to use the tackle wheel. To top things off, band and cheer then got to experience the joys of the tire drag drill.
As an onlooker to the “Appreciation Practice” one thing was evident. If I hadn’t known already that there were three different departments being represented on the field, I would have never known. The students were laughing and interacting and having a great time as a whole. There was no labels, no judgments, and no added pressure to act a certain way. If the goal was to bring each individual athlete together to form one united Friday night super Bulldog team. Then mission accomplished.