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Victoria West students, community members rally for school support

Aug. 22, 2011 at 3:22 a.m.

In a final burst of school spirit, Victoria West High School students rush the field of Memorial Stadium at the conclusion of the pep rally.

As the sun sank behind the west side of Memorial Stadium Monday night, the trademarked "VW" hand signs jutted skyward.

"We are Warriors!" cheered a strong crowd at the school's official induction community pep rally.

There is no turning back; the 2011-12 football season is officially under way.

In the crowd was Cade Middle School sixth-grader Anthony Padilla, who fist pumped his No. 1 foam finger each time he heard the word "warrior."

Anthony had a good first day in junior high.

But now he's ready for one thing.

"Football," he said excitedly. "It's because they're the Warriors!"

Some of Anthony's spirit stems from his grandmother's pride in Victoria West.

Rebecca Benavidez's grandson Josh Valdez is on the football team and her son, Juan Padilla, is in the choir.

Seeing a good crowd show up to the pep rally after a long first day back at school made her feel great.

"It's very important," Benavidez said. "It gets the students going."

At the bottom of the bleachers, close to the field were friends Katie Aupperle, Alex Gutierrez and Lillie Raybon, all of whom started their sophomore year Monday.

The three weren't only there for the football team, but for friends in the band, Legacy dance team, cheerleading squad and other sports teams.

"It just seems to be a great year for football," Katie said.

Lillie was excited more for a smooth start to the school year.

A school's first year always has kinks, and she is glad to see issues with the dress code, parking and traffic congestion has been solved.

"It seems like all of this stuff is finally going to be sorted out," she said.

A few feet away was proud mom Laura Goedrich, whose voice boomed above all the rest during the cheers.

Goedrich is a music teacher at Vickers Elementary and has a daughter, Samantha, who entered her third year as a varsity cheerleader, and a son, Barrett, who is beginning his football career on the freshman team.

As the warrior mascot rallied the crowd, Goedrich made sure to make all the noise she could make with her stomping feet and vociferous voice.

"It's neat to see all of the spirit," she said.

This spirit needs to be shown not only for football, but for all the other school activities, said Warriors Head Coach Leonard McAngus.

"Get on that Warrior wagon," he said.



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