Warriors show their spirit at the school's first football game
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WHO: Victoria East Titans
WHAT: Homecoming against Calallen High School
WHERE: Memorial Stadium
WHEN: 7:30 p.m. Friday, Sept. 10
Like the calm before a storm, Memorial Stadium slowly swayed to the Victoria West High School alma mater, their hands in the air, holding up a three-fingered "W."
A few minutes later, the Warrior football team burst through the school's blow-up tunnel to a frenzied crowd holding up signs and throwing rolls of toilet paper.
Before the game, the crowd was a little more subdued than last week's - when the East Titans made its debut at Memorial Stadium.
But by kick-off, the stadium was nearly as packed, and the fans - every bit as pumped.
"It's the beginning of something historic," said West sophomore Victor Guerrero, who was also at the East game. "I'm sure the atmosphere will be as crazy or crazier than last week's."
The West Warriors didn't have a game last week, so many showed up to support their East rivals. That and the sky threatening rain could have contributed to a slightly smaller crowd, Guerrero said.
But a pan of the stadium showed few empty seats, proving once again the East-West rivalry has people on both sides of town excited about the schools.
"It's a great rivalry," said junior Michael Mikulenka, who was decked out in skimpy running shorts and a sweat band. He was getting ready to run a West Warrior flag around the field with four other flag runners. "It pushes you harder to beat East. There's more competition," he said.
Holding a flag next to Mikulenka was the Warrior mascot, Anthony Gipson.
"It's not really even a rivalry," he said from underneath an armored mask. "We're gonna win. West is the best, East is the least."
Meanwhile, in the top row of the stadium, sophomore Titan David Boyd sat among a group of Warriors. He said he was at last week's game and sat with the same group of people.
"We all have friends out there, so we support them," Boyd said, adding he thought this week's crowd had spirit, but seemed to be sitting more.
Cheerleader mom Katie Brandt said she didn't doubt the Warriors' enthusiasm, which was still going strong from Friday afternoon's pep rally.
She was sitting in the sold-out reserved seating section,
"We're more laid back, but we're excited," Brandt said, adding the cheerleader moms had a bleacher-long sign that read "Warriors Come Out to Play."
Brandt said she's enjoying the rivalry that's similar to the one Victoria and Stroman high schools shared a decade ago.
"But we don't want an ugly rivalry," she said. "Wherever one team goes, we support them. We're still Victoria."