Students cheer on the sidelines

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Students cheer on the sidelines

Brandon Baltis, Reporter

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Students look forward to many upcoming events when school starts, including the homecoming football game, this year against East High School. The last time Guilford won their homecoming game was two years ago when they beat their long term rivals the Boylan Titans. With the competition, fun themes, and the dance the following day, students, along with the football players, spend their time preparing for it all.

“In terms of how we practice, there is no difference,” said Anthony Capriotti, Guilford football coach of six years and math teacher. “But there is a natural enthusiasm in wanting to put on a show for the crowd and making the alumni proud. It carries a lot of traditions.”

The student section is a large part of all football games, but during the homecoming game, stands are packed with over half the kids in school and many alumni from past years. The Booster Club even holds an event specifically for the alumni every year. Fans come to see what the Vikings have to bring and what the student section leaders have in store for them, and the players perform better knowing they have someone cheering them on.

“The student section cheers way before the varsity game to get us ready,” said Hunter Bladel, junior and outside linebacker and wide receiver for varsity. “To be honest, the student section is a big part in what keeps the team going, because it doesn’t matter if we’re 40-0, they are always there to cheer us on and keep us going. They are our most loyal fans.”

Weekly football themes give viewers enjoyment, and every year, the theme “white out” is reserved for the homecoming game.

“Homecoming is the game where we get to take school spirit to a whole new level,” said Jasmine Norris, junior and big supporter of Guilford athletics. “One of our greatest traditions, solely for the homecoming game and ‘white out’ theme, is throwing baby powder in the student section.”

The football players more than anyone look forward to this day, hoping to show the school that they are proud and that they can win the game for their class.

“Honestly, the homecoming game is one of the most important games of the season,” said Bladel. “It seems to be one of the most packed games of the season and the whole school comes out and watches. It’s important for the team and school because it sets the whole mood for homecoming week, and when you win, you enjoy homecoming a whole lot more, especially for the senior football players, being that it is their last high school homecoming.”

Though the homecoming game is the most viewed game of the season, the football players do not treat it differently than other games, or other games any less special than the homecoming game.

“My team goes hard every week non-stop,” said Bladel. “We practice how we play, and we practice to win.”