West Warriors gear up with pep rally (video)

Aug. 27, 2012 at 3:27 a.m.
Updated Aug. 28, 2012 at 3:28 a.m.

The sound of beating drums echoing in Memorial Stadium signaled the start of a yet another school year, another chance to dominate the gridiron.

And, if Monday night's "Meet the Warriors" pep rally was any indication, VISD's West High School is roaring to go.

With bright pink sneakers strapped to her feet 11th-grader Katlynn Balli was one such example.

She eagerly debuted her gymnastics skills as a cheerleader on the JV squad, something she hadn't pictured herself doing only a week ago.

"I decided to try out last minute," she said, chuckling. "I have been told that since I'm double jointed, I can't do flips ... I guess I proved them wrong."

Bethany Garza, who was crowned Miss Victoria only one month ago, said that's what West "does best."

"We build each other up," she said, watching as some of the school's 50 extracurricular groups trotting onto the field were met with booming applause. "We're family here."

And the third annual event proved it, seeking to include not only cheerleaders and those familiar with pigskin.

Three dancers in the group "West Ballet Folklorico" traded in pom poms for colorful, traditional Jalisco dresses. Mesmerizing the crowd in a blur of red, white, blue and pink, they paid homage to the area's Mexican heritage with the song "La Negra."

Chugging water after the five-minute long performance, Nicia Pena, a senior, was all smiles.

"We've been dancing since we were 4," she said.

Superintendent Robert Jaklich said it was a great way to cap off what's now become his 31st first day of school.

So far, he's visited 12 of the district's 27 campuses, striving to live up to a motto pasted to the back of teachers' red T-shirts.

"Every child. Every classroom. Every day."

"VISD is way too great for small dreams," he said.



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