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The Student News Site of Brentwood High School

The Nest

The Student News Site of Brentwood High School

The Nest

The Student News Site of Brentwood High School

The Nest

The Eagles’ return: Brentwood’s Friday Night Lights are back on

Senior Henry Ritter bursts through the cheerleaders’ banner as the game begins.

What truly defines a football game? Is it the feeling that fills a wide receiver’s heart as he crosses into the end zone? Is it the band’s blaring anthems and cheerleaders’ chants that propel the crowd into a fervor? Or is it that same crowd whose breath collectively stops just before the game-winning touchdown and then erupts into cheers? Or is it more atmospheric — the summer heat finally lessening so that everyone can enjoy being comfortable outdoors on a Friday night with friends?

The correct answer may be the combination of all of those things, and it was something that was sorely lacking last year when Brentwood’s fall football season was postponed due to Covid-19.

Yes, the football team did get to play an unorthodox spring season during the 2020-2021 school year, but with Covid precautions in place, fans were limited which left the stands looking empty; the band didn’t get to play at the games, the cheerleaders were in coats and masks, and there wasn’t a single fall leaf to be found.

It simply did not feel the same.

But this fall, the Eagles are back. On August 27th, 2021, the stands filled once again to cheer on the Eagles as they took their first win of the season against Bayless, a frequent rival. “We played against Bayless twice in the spring,” said assistant coach Christopher Robin, “so we’re kind of familiar with them. It was nice to play a familiar opponent week one to kind of get the ball rolling.”

In the past, the team has seen Bayless as an easy win, but this game proved to be more of a challenge than the Eagles expected. Robin said, “It was exhausting; that was a really tough game that was a lot closer than we thought it was going to be.”

A tough game calls for experienced players, and with such a small team, the coaches made the decision to keep many of the veteran players in the game for the entire time. Senior Jordan Shields said, “I knew I had to stay out there, but I wish if the game went a little bit better, some other guys could have gone in.” Those tough calls can make or break a game, and thankfully the decisions made by Coach Kuhn and Coach Robin allowed Brentwood to pull out a victory.

Football games at Brentwood aren’t just about the passes, field goals, and touchdowns. Without the band and cheer team, they wouldn’t be half as big of a school event as they are. Families who don’t even have high school students often make the game a Friday night activity — the band and cheerleaders being a big draw for the kids.

Whereas football at least had a spring season, Brentwood’s pep band was not allowed to perform last year since horn players weren’t able to remove their face coverings. Band Director Grant Krener has found a fix to this problem. “They have playing masks, so they have a little opening so they can play,” said Krener.

As for the return of the band? “The first game is always a bit of a question mark because the band only has two rehearsals beforehand,” said Krener. “The veterans in the band such as Teagan [Karetski-Smythe] and Ash [DeVaughan] pull the pep band together for the first few games,” he said, explaining how after a few games, the newer band members get the hang of the flow and weekly performances.

Cheerleaders also are happy to be back. Junior Lilly Lancaster relates how she certainly prefers cheering for an audience rather than just the team. The squad is also looking forward to being able to cheer at more travel games this year since last year with Covid-19 precautions, the cheerleaders weren’t allowed to cheer at any of the away games. And as for cheering through a mask? The squad no longer has to wear them when cheering outside, thanks to the Covid vaccine and being able to distance themselves from each other.

Junior Brooke Carter (right) and freshman Sariah Bailey (left) raise their pom-poms to the sky as they lead the crowd in a cheer.

The world is drastically different than it was when the stands of Brentwood’s football field were filled for games in the fall of 2019, but even with those changes, the Brentwood spirit and the simple love of the game has stayed the same. Make sure to come back to The Nest for the latest updates on Brentwood’s return to football.

 

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About the Contributors
Jonas Wall
Jonas Wall, Editor in Chief
Jonas Wall is a senior at Brentwood High School. He is the editor in chief for the Nest and enjoys running and cooking in his freetime.
Amelia Van Uum
Amelia Van Uum, Staff Reporter
Amelia Van Uum is a junior at Brentwood High School. She plays varsity volleyball and is involved with Student Council, NHS, and robotics. She loves photography, traveling, hiking, and finding new music.

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