Friday, September 21, 2001

Rallies build football spirit

Colerain High gets elementary schools involved

By Michael D. Clark
The Cincinnati Enquirer

[photo] Colerain High School cheerleaders work on pumping up the students at Weigel Elementary School on Tuesday.
(Dick Swaim photos)
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        WHITE OAK — Northwest schools this week gave the traditional high-school football pep rally a twist.

        Five of the district's elementaries that feed into Colerain High School were treated to pep rallies for the high-school football team and, more importantly, for Elementary Night at tonight'sCardinal home game.

        It's an unusual tradition that continues because it works, said Colerain Coach Kerry Coombs shortly before leading nearly 500 Weigel Elementary students in an energetic series of cheers that thrilled the screaming youngsters.

        “We talk to them about football, but also about what's important like academics and school attendance,” said Mr. Coombs before kicking off the rally, which included Colerain cheerleaders, band members and a half-dozen football players, most of whom attended Weigel.

[photo] Andrew Nolte, 6, a first-grader at Weigel Elementary, gets into the spirit at Tuesday's Colerain football pep rally.
(Dick Swaim photos)
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        “It's good for the students and the players because it's good to have heroes and to be a hero,” he said.

        Students from the elementary schools can attend tonight's game — Colerain versus Oak Hills — for free and also receive free hot dogs and drinks at the game.

        Tailgating festivities for the students' families will culminate with hundreds of elementary students forming a long entrance tunnel through which the Cardinal players will enter the field.

        Cardinal senior quarterback Sean Jones said the overwhelming support of the youngsters brings the whole community closer and pumps up the players.

        “It gave me chills. It sends an incredible feeling through you,” Sean said.

Cincinnati.Com Prep Sports Section

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