Huron students wake up early to 'pep' up school's football team
That was exactly the scene Friday morning when approximately 300-400 people showed up for the Local 4 (WDIV) Friday Football Frenzy pep rally held at 6 a.m. on Friday.
The 35-14 Lincoln win was also the AnnArbor.com Game of the Week.
“It was pretty cool, it was a great experience,” said Avery Gragg a student at Huron and a junior varsity football player. “I wish they would have came a little later, but other than that it was pretty cool.”
The rally was held in preparation for the Huron's game against Lincoln Friday night at Riverbank Stadium. This was the second year in a row that the matchup between these two teams has been featured on Channel 4. Last year’s rally was held at Lincoln High School.
Related: Friday night football roundup
The fans showed up before the cameras started rolling so they could receive direction from the camera crews.
“They had us run through the tunnel a couple times and had us getting pretty hyped,” said Kyle Hester who is also a JV football player. “They had us line up on the 'H' (at midfield of Riverbank Stadium) and do some chants.”
Former Miss Michigan, Ashlee Baracy hosted the rally that was shown throughout the morning news broadcast.
“A thing like that this morning was a great pride and enthusiastic morning for our kids and it was something that was special to be a part of,” said football coach Cory Gildersleeve.
Despite only having a day to put the rally together, the staff at Huron was pleased with the turnout.
“As always, Huron River Rats come through,” said Huron athletic director Dottie Davis. “We were awesome. The band was huge. Any time you can showcase Huron athletics, and all the great facilities we have, we’ll do it every single day if we can,”
Being able to expose the school on such a big stage was not lost on the students and players who took away a sense of pride after the rally.
“It shows what our school is all about and it shows southeast Michigan what Huron is and Huron pride,” said Alex Teixeira.
“It sort of raises our expectations,” Hester said. “It makes us feel like we have to perform better than we normally do.”
Given the buzz around Lincoln's student section, “Splitter Nation,” both players and coaches looked at the rally as a chance to bring the school together and create its own buzz.
“Our coach really talked to us about how Lincoln’s getting all this press and stuff and we have to use that as fuel to motivate us even more,” Gragg said.
Click here for the video of the morning pep rally.