New changes shape football games

By Courtney Minter

Sarah Darby, editor-in-chief

Football on Friday nights look a little different this year after changes prompted by the parent-led Booster Club, football team and Blue Crew first came into effect at the football team’s first home game against Bonner Springs High School on Friday, Sept. 2.

Football players ran onto the field to “Enter Sandman” exiting from a new addition to the field: a new inflated jaguar head and tunnel. Head football coach Joel Applebee first approached the Booster Club about the possibility of the tunnel. The addition will be paid for completely by private sponsorships.

“We wanted to go with a jaguar head instead of a football so it can be used at other games,” Booster Club member Hope Windmiller said.

Junior wide receiver Alec Donn likes the addition of the tunnel and jaguar head.

“I feel like it’s intimidating for the other teams to see,” Donn said. “I just think it’s more exciting for the fans and team spirit.”

Another major change involves additions to the sound system and music that is played at the games. This year, the outdoor stereo system was updated by the school with a cord allowing iPod music to be played. The football team has used the sound system so far to play new recorded music including a jaguar growl at kickoffs and big plays, and the playing of a clip from the song “Hell’s Bells” at defensive plays.

Although the recorded music should play only during third quarters and moments like at kickoffs when the band previously has not played, band teacher Debra Steiner says coordination will take work.

“It’s fine, it’s just different and any time you change anything it’s just hard to get on the same page,” Steiner said. “There’s a couple times like, ‘Oh, I guess I can’t play.’”

Drill captain Austin Gebhardt has mixed feelings about the changes.

“That’s cool to pump your team up but why are we here if we have to wait for you to stop playing “Crazy Train?” Gebhardt said. “Why would you waste the time and resources playing music over and over again?”

The change to the music is minimal, according to Applebee.

“The change is adding to what the band does,” Applebee said. “There is zero change to what the band is doing. We love the band. We appreciate all the efforts they put out and the music they play.”

However, sideline dances have been cut short following the change in music, according to dance team member Josie Hanson.

“The only thing we do on the sidelines is dance to the band music and we hardly got to,” Hanson said. “Normally, [the band] does the fight song after every touchdown, but now it has only been at the beginning and end [of the game].”

A final change is the revitalization of Blue Crew with a goal to get all students involved with the club.

“I haven’t been interested [in past years], junior year has kind of motivated me to go to more games,” junior Hailey Vorbeck said.

Regardless of differing opinions on the changes, game attendance has gone up around 25 percent according to estimates by Windmiller. Fans can expect to see all of the changes in effect through the season and maybe more faces in the crowd.

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