Friday night fun

Fans return to St. Mark’s football games


photo by Juliana Blazek

Cheerleaders hype up the crowd before a play at the first home game of the year.

by Juliana Blazek, Features Editor

From rowdy fans to spirited cheerleaders, students are eager to participate in the return of “Friday Night Lights” for the first time in almost two years. Blue and gold decorated fans have begun filling up the student section of St. Marks’ Hunt Stadium on Friday nights as they prepare to cheer on the football team throughout their season.

As a result of COVID-19, spectators were very limited at the football games last season, and no students were allowed to watch in person. However, this year, St. Marks is allowing full capacity at football games, inviting students from both Hockaday and St. Marks to join together and support the football team, while being outside and still cautious of COVID-19. “The fans really set the tone for the whole game,” said Sarah Roberts, varsity cheerleading captain. “I missed the energy of the student section last year at the scrimmages where only parents were allowed to attend.”

For each home game, fans are given a theme to dress in to show a unified support for the football team and all the high school students are encouraged to stand in the student

section, so they can socialize and get to know each other better.

“I think that there’s a lot more participation and energy this year for sure because everyone missed going to FNL last year,” junior Josie Sinwell said. “I really try to get people spirited during the games, so I’ve been making posters, going all out with the themes and encouraging others to join me in doing so.”

In addition to the football team and fans, the St. Marks band, Spurs, and cheerleaders play a role in making sure everyone has fun-filled Friday night.

“I’m really excited that they’re bringing back with full force the student section, band, cheerleaders and everything else that makes FNL so special,” cheerleader, Molly McPhail said. “We’ve been really successful so far at bringing together our community of students and getting everyone excited for a new year of FNL.”

Through the duration of the football season, which lasts from September to early November, events such as T-shirt handouts and spirit parties occur either before or after the games to encourage fans to cheer on and celebrate the football team.

“Football games are a big community event that goes a lot farther than just a game,” Roberts said. “The band, cheerleaders, and Spurs all see these games as a large part of our athletic season, and we all contribute to creating a lighthearted and fun atmosphere for the community.”