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The student news site of McNeil High School

The Trailblazer

The student news site of McNeil High School

The Trailblazer

Behind The Scenes of FNL

Behind The Scenes of FNL
Image by Alyssa Perera

“Friday night lights” means football. Every Friday, there’s a new team for the football team to go up against. But there is so much more going on than just the game. Of course, there’s cheer, band and Majestics. But there are also MAVS flags by Auto Tech, ball boys, athletic trainers, drum majors, choir, ROTC flags, color guard and student section.

Students in the athletic training program are out on the sidelines every game ready in case a player gets injured.

“We help with the football players’ treatments and we also set up and we do different jobs like water, etc,” senior trainer, Kyndall Speed said. “We’ll be standing and walking around like we just follow behind the football players wherever we go.”

The trainers are also in uniform with gray (seniors) or blue (non-seniors) polos and khakis. They bring any equipment that the players might need.

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“For the players, we usually have foam rollers, any extra equipment we need for treatment, we have massage guns, we have these portable taping tables they can get their treatments on and any other rehabilitation things that they need,” Speed said. “For myself, usually I have a fanny pack, and it just has a tape or black tape for any cuts or scrapes they get, hydrogen peroxide for any bleeding that gets on their jerseys and scissors, just quick things.”

The Maverick four “horsemen” run the MAVS flags across half the field for every point scored by the Maverick team. Throughout the games, horsemen Robbie Rust (12), Xander Covar (11), Michan Goodin (10) and Reed Zeiner (12) stand by the end zone the team will be scoring in preparation for a point.

“The last year that they did [the horsemen] was my freshman year, I’m a senior now and so I wanted to bring it back,” Zeiner said. “So I told one of my teachers and he sponsored and so we contacted the principals and got it all situated.

Typically, there are four to five ball boys on the sidelines who help the game run smoothly.

“You just kinda set up everything before the game,” freshman ball boy Daegan Hermes said. “Give the refs the ball, make sure the ball is on offense when it’s supposed to be.”

To set up for the game, the ball boys bring the footballs, the kicking net and coolers, from the training bus to the sidelines.

The Majestics get to the game around 6:30 p.m. and stay until anywhere from 9:30 to 10:00 p.m.. They perform throughout most of the game.

“We go up, we do stand routines, second quarter, we go down, warm up, start getting ready for halftime, do halftime [show] and then we go back up in the stands,” senior Majestic Mckenna Lessenger said. “Sometimes we’ll do stand routines [after] but then usually the officers go over to the other side to meet officers from the other team. And sometimes, right after halftime, we’ll go in front of the student section with a drumline, just hang out down there.”

The dance team wears their uniforms, does their makeup and hair and brings their poms for stand routines, other props if needed, bells, sunglasses and more.

In the stands, with full uniform and hair, the band plays music throughout the game for the team and the student section.

“We are a spirit organization which means that our job is really to be there to hype up the football team and the student section,” senior band member Pia Alvarez said. “When we’re in the stands, we play stand tunes. We have a lot of songs that are like band renditions of pop songs. We play ‘Confident’ by Demi Lovato, we play ‘Runaway Baby’ by Bruno Mars, etc. The drumline plays Cadences, we kind of just dance to those. Then at half time, we perform our show which we prepare for competitions and stuff in the band world but we perform it for the student section.”

Band members get ready to leave for the game right when school ends and finally finish up their job between 10:00 and 11:00 p.m. when they get back to the school and unload all of their equipment.

Various Maverick choirs show up to the game at about 6:30 p.m. to perform the national anthem before games in front of the football field. The choir makes a semicircle around one mic and sings towards the audience.

“We show up early to run through the national anthem and school song, just to make sure our vowels sound good and we’re being respectful and everything like that,” senior choir member Charlotte Riggs said. “Other than that we just sing our songs and make sure to pay our respects.”

Cheerleaders are cheering, stunting or encouraging the team and student section in a different way such as run-throughs or tossing t-shirts.

“During home games, we have to tape run-throughs and roll shirts and come up with things to throw at the student section,” sophomore cheerleader Lara Thiele said. “Run-throughs are where we paint this butcher paper, they’re really tall, probably about seven panels tall and before the game starts, the football players run through them and just rip them up.”

During the national anthem, four ROTC color guard students walk the USA flag, Texas flag, Texas rifle and USA rifle out onto the field.

“I march out onto the field and then when we stop facing towards the home side, I present the [American] flag,” senior ROTC color guard member Sydney Reyna said. “Then when we’re finished with the national anthem, I bring it back up and then we just walk off.”

The other members of the ROTC color guard who walk out the flags and rifles are Naima Rattley (12), Sophia Marriot (12) and Robbie Rust (12).

The student section leaders help to get the student section excited for the game throughout the week and the game.

“On Wednesday, we made a post for the theme,” senior student section leader Ella Deville said. “Then on Fridays after school, starting around 5:00, we get together, dress up for the theme, and make posters. We get to the game super early, set up the speaker, all of our signs and stuff, take some pictures and then we just kinda go from there. Get the student section hype as people show up, and start chants at kickoff.”

Leaders bring megaphones, speakers for music, signs, clappers and water bottle shakers.

The color guard comes out to the games in their stand costumes which are half-skirt uniforms with the school colors.

“We practice a little on the side of the field,” senior color guard member Mericarla Franco said. “Then after kickoff, we exit the field and start practicing a little for halftime which doesn’t really take that long. Then we perform during halftime then we leave and the rest is just dancing and having a fun time.”

The band’s four drum majors have some different tasks on a Friday night than the band. They rally the band into the bleachers, keep the tempo for the band, etc.

“Two of us head to the speakers and stuff so we can speak to the band easily,” sophomore drum major Audrey Raybould said. “One of us runs a metronome [keeps tempo] for drumline and the other two are on each side helping the brass see because you can’t really see from up top and one of us is in the center and we switch every quarter. And for the second quarter, we go down, we do our halftime show, and then we do the same thing [when] we come back.”

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Alyssa Perera
Alyssa Perera, Reporter
Hi, I'm Alyssa! This is my second year on newspaper staff. I love baking, reading and watching TV. I'm really looking forward to this year!
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