Titans unleashed; East students gear up for school
Victoria East senior Dinah Retiz started her high school career at East by running through the tunnel at Unleash the Beast.
And that's how she is going to end it.
"It is my third year to go through the tunnel, and I hope we can all cherish it," she said. "All the parents are so proud of what the kids are doing. It is just a great feeling - I don't have any words to express it. My smile is going to be huge, and I'm probably going to cry."
Retiz, captain of the Ballet Folklorico squad, a traditional Mexican dance group, said Unleash the Beast is the perfect way to start the school year.
"I think it is very important because we get to show off everything Victoria East has, and we are proud of who we are and all that our school has," Retiz said.
Folklorico was just one of 24 student groups presented Saturday night to the community. Others included the hip hop club, dance team and journalism students.
Mark Pullin, president of the football booster club, said about 200 parents volunteered to put the event together and they started working in June.
"It is important for the kids because it gives the parents a chance to see all the clubs," Pullin said. "Not everyone is an athelete or in the band. There are a lot of people that make East High function other than those groups, and it gives everyone a chance to display their kids and be a part of the whole excitement."
Principal Greg Crockett said the booster clubs started the event three years ago to kick-off the first year of Victoria East.
"We had such a positive experience with the students, parents, the grandparents and the future Titans, we wanted to continue it for them," Crockett said.
The crowd, which filled half of Memorial Stadium, chanted "Unleash the Beast" with the students on the field, as Crockett marched in an authentic titan costume.
Nicole Butler, a mother of two band members and one golf player at East, said it is exciting to see them all on the field together.
"It helps us show that not only one sport is important, but they all are, and that we all support each other," said Butler, vice president of the boys golf booster.
Some groups also performed for the crowd, like the hip-hop club and Folklorico.
Retiz said Unleash the Beast is an opportunity for her to share part of her culture with the community.
"People can see what we can do and that it isn't a regular club," Retiz said. "We work out, we train, we go to workshops during the summer. It is like what football players, cheerleaders, what they are dong. I just want everyone to check out what we do and how we do it."