Crowds gather to "Meet the Warriors" at Memorial Stadium
Aug. 23, 2010 at 3:23 a.m.
Hours after their first day of school ended, the Victoria West Warriors rallied together again at Memorial Stadium.
In one grand pep rally called "Meet the Warriors," students, faculty and parents were introduced to the teams they would be cheering on during the school's first year of existence.
"It's all about showing school pride and getting everybody pumped for the new high school," freshman Haley Zarbock said while sitting with the junior varsity drill team.
The drill team, which took up a section of bleachers near the football field, held up the Warrior hand symbol - pinky, middle and index fingers - at the coaxing of the band director, Adam Ardner.
Ardner told the crowd how important it was to support all activities at the school - from band to ROTC, to football - and to embrace new traditions.
One tradition, he said, was removing head gear during the school's fight song.
Ardner also encouraged the crowd to always be loud enough for "the other side of town to hear."
Students said they are enjoying their new friendly rivalry with the East Titans.
"We already know we have more spirit (than East)," freshman Kayla Garcia said. "We don't have to prove it."
"And we have cuter guys," fellow drill team member, freshman Katelyn Forehand joked.
Halfway through the rally, a seemingly rogue East Titan ran onto the football field and was tackled by a group of West Warrior football players.
The group tied up the intruder - later found out to be the team's mascot, Anthony Gipson - and carried him off the field.
Zach Mueller grabbed the microphone and told the crowd they would be taking the Titan to jail indefinitely.
"We're leashing them, not unleashing them," he said, referring to East's similar rally called "Unleash the Titans."
Despite the difference in school loyalty, Principal Debbie Crick led the crowd in a moment of silence for would-be Titan Patrick Locher, who was killed in a motorcycle accident last week.
After the silence and National Anthem, the cheerleaders introduced the crowd to some staple cheers they would quickly learn as Warriors.
Head football coach Leonard McAngus said West's camaraderie was evident, even after only one day of school.
"People are excited about the new school," McAngus said. "We've made strides academically, and it's time to show how much more we can do."
Before introducing her drill team, director DJ Jaynes said "ditto" to the tradition and togetherness expressed by Ardner and McAngus.
"It's been a really long time since I've felt this feeling. We are a team. We are a family. We are the best. We are West," she said.