Your in-depth preview of Northern and Northwest Guilford High Schoolsâ€™ fall 2016 football season
IN THIS ISSUE
Meet the football teams and coaches 2016 game schedule 2015 season results Meet the cheerleaders Get a sneak preview of the marching bandsâ€™ halftime performances
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at a glance:
2016 GAME SCHEDULE 2015 RESULTS
Northwest Guilford High School
Northern Guilford High School
5240 Northwest School Road, Greensboro
7101 Spencer Dixon Road, Greensboro
2016 GAME SCHEDULE
2016 GAME SCHEDULE
DATE OPPONENT LOCATION Aug. 19............Smith................................... Home • 44-26 (W) Aug. 26...........Western Guilford.....................Away • 62-0 (W) Sept. 2.............Northern Guilford................. Home Sept. 9.............Southeast Guilford................ Home Sept. 23...........Grimsley.................................Away Sept. 30...........Reidsville.............................. Home Oct. 7..............Ragsdale.............................. Home homecoming Oct. 14............High Point Central..................Away Oct. 21............Glenn................................... Home Oct. 28............Southwest Guilford..................Away Nov. 4..............East Forsyth............................Away Nov. 11............1st round playoffs
DATE OPPONENT LOCATION Aug. 28...........Page..................................... Home • 0-48 (L) Sept. 2.............Northwest Guilford..................Away Sept. 9.............Williams..................................Away Sept. 16...........Reidsville.............................. Home Sept. 23...........Western Alamance................ Home Sept. 30...........Eastern Alamance...................Away Oct. 7..............Rockingham County............. Home Oct. 14............Eastern Guilford......................Away Oct. 21............Northeast Guilford................ Home Oct. 28............McMichael.............................Away Nov. 4..............Morehead............................. Home
2015 SEASON RESULTS (8-5) DATE OPPONENT SCORE Aug. 21............Smith...................................................... 35-0 (W) Aug. 28...........Western Guilford...................................... 66-27 (W) Sept. 4.............Northern Guilford.................................... 13-21 (L) Sept. 11...........Southeast Guilford .................................. 16-9 (W) Sept. 28...........Grimsley.................................................. 21-7 (W) Oct. 1..............Reidsville................................................. 27-14 (W) Oct. 9..............Ragsdale*................................................ 29-7 (W) Oct. 16............High Point Central*.................................. 19-21 (L) Oct. 23............Glenn*.................................................... 21-14 (W) Oct. 30............Southwest Guilford*................................. 20-21 (L) Nov. 6..............East Forsyth*........................................... 20-58 (L) Nov. 13............Garner Magnet**.................................... 29-28 (W) Nov. 20............Fuquay-Varina**...................................... 20-35 (L)
DATE OPPONENT SCORE Aug. 28...........Page........................................................ 14-52 (L) Sept. 4.............Northwest Guilford................................... 21-13 (W) Sept. 11...........Williams................................................... 47-7 (W) Sept. 17...........Reidsville................................................. 13-10 (W) Sept. 28...........Western Alamance................................... 21-36 (L) Oct. 1..............Eastern Alamance.................................... 33-41 (L) Oct. 9..............Rockingham County*............................... 21-7 (W) Oct. 16............Eastern Guilford*..................................... 35-7 (W) Oct. 23............Northeast Guilford*................................. 35-0 (W) Oct. 30............McMichael*............................................. 49-7 (W) Nov. 6..............Morehead*.............................................. 27-31 (L) Nov. 13............Corinth Holders**.................................... 40-7 (W) Nov. 20............Asheboro**............................................. 28-17 (W) Nov. 27............Terry Sanford**....................................... 28-10 (W) Dec. 4.............Southern Durham**................................. 15-19 (L)
* Conference game ** Playoffs
* Conference game ** Playoffs
(all games start at 7:30 p.m.)
(all games start at 7:30 p.m.)
2015 SEASON RESULTS (10-5)
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Northwest Vikings 2016 VARSITY FOOTBALL TEAM ROSTER NO. NAME 1 Kyle Finne 2 Cameron Cloud 3 Tre’ Turner 4 Cameron Payne 5 Eddie Selby 6 Cody Miller 7 Thomas Hennigan 8 Caleb Andrews 9 Jalen Spicer 10 Cody Creed 11 Nathan Ramsey 12 Jacob Leonard 13 Mason Wilfong 14 Tico Hamphill 16 Tucker Sweeney 18 Walker Kilduff 19 Kyun Frazier 20 Jonah Voorheis 21 Josh Bethea 22 Scot Garrison 23 Corey Carver 24 Chris Starks 25 Zachary Tyler 26 Carson Stull
HEIGHT 5’10” 5’9” 6’4” 6’3” 5’10” 5’10” 6’3” 5’10” 5’10” 5’9” 5’9” 6’1” 6’4” 5’10” 5’9” 5’10” 5’7” 5’8” 5’10” 6’1” 5’9” 5’10” 6’0” 5’7”
WEIGHT 185 170 185 215 175 175 210 200 165 160 165 170 200 170 165 180 160 150 165 190 165 185 205 175
POSITION RB/DB Slot/DB WR/DB TE/LB WR/DB WR/DB Slot/QB/DB RB/DB WR/DB Kicker Slot/LB QB/DB TE/DE WR/DB WR/DB WR/LB Slot/DB Kicker WR/DB WR/LB WR/DB RB/LB RB/LB TE/DE
GRADE 12 10 11 12 12 12 12 10 12 11 12 11 11 12 12 11 11 12 12 12 12 12 12 12
NO. NAME 28 Landon Clary 32 George Cooke 33 Alex White 43 James Linden 44 Jacob Fields 48 Daniel Hicks 51 Jordan Harrison 52 Chris Jenkins 56 Andrew Matherly 57 Jake Rezek 58 Tristen Kilgannon 60 Trevor Hartman 63 Melvin Diggs 65 Brendan Banner 67 Austin Scott 68 Daryus Mitchell 70 Adam Marshall 71 Isaiah Ashley 72 Matthew Hayes 73 Joe Collazo 75 Taylor Riddleburger 77 Trey Williams 85 Ward Bryce
HEIGHT 5’8” 6’0” 5’8” 5’8” 6’0” 5’9” 5’8” 5’8” 6’0” 5’10” 5’9” 5’9” 6’0” 6’0” 6’0” 5’10” 6’2” 6’4” 6’4” 5’10” 5’10” 6’3” 6’0”
WEIGHT 175 170 160 165 205 180 225 215 190 220 260 200 280 220 240 240 260 270 220 290 270 260 195
POSITION Slot/LB TE/LB Slot/DB RB/DB TE/DL OL/DL OL/DL OL/DL OL/DL OL/DL OL/DL OL/DL OL/DL OL/DL OL/DL OL/DL OL/DL OL/DL OL/DL OL/DL OL/DL OL/DL RB/DL
GRADE 10 11 11 12 12 12 11 11 11 12 11 11 11 12 12 12 11 11 12 12 11 12 10
Northwest Guilford Vikings In his third season as the Vikings’ head coach, Jared Rolfes believes his players have the right combination of talent, skills, football savvy and maturity to make great things happen by Marc Pruitt There is some definite buzz surrounding the Northwest Guilford football team as it heads into the third season under the leadership of head coach Jared Rolfes; the Vikings, who are loaded at the key skills positions, are coming off two eight-win seasons and two playoff appearances in Rolfes’ first two years with the program.
The Vikings took off on Aug. 19 in a season-opening win against Smith, when the team dominated the first half on the way to a 44-26 win without the benefit of four key players who were nursing injuries or illness. “We feel like we’ve got some pretty quality talent,” Rolfes said. “We’ve made a lot of progress in the weight room over the course of the last couple of years, which is what I thought was the biggest deficit we had when I came in.”
Offense: Spread option
Breakout players: Tre’ Turner, Cameron Cloud
Offensive coordinator: Bryant Miller (defensive coordinator last season)
Most anticipated conference game: vs. East Forsyth
Head coach: Jared Rolfes
Key players: Thomas Hennigan, Jacob Leonard
Senior wide receiver/quarterback Thomas Hennigan, a three-year starter who has already committed to Appalachian State, is once again expected to play a key offensive role for the Vikings. Recovering from a bout with mononucleosis, Hennigan missed the season opener against Smith but returned to the “I think our lineup on Aug. 26 foundation was rewhen Northwest ally put in place last r te played against Westseason when we won sy ad of e ern Guilford. h L if e our first playoff game,” s, to u c h | Ja re d R olfe “From the moment I Rolfes said, referring to the walked in the door, there was Vikings’ 29-28 win against Garner just something about him that stood in the first round of the NCHSAA 4-AA out above everybody here,” Rolfes said. playoffs last November. “We had a really “He can play just about any position on young team. They were really talented, offense and defense except for maybe but they were young. We definitely got the line, but I’m pretty sure he could better and more mature as the season probably handle that, too, if we needed went on. I’m really happy with where we are as a program and I feel like we’re in a him. He’s going to line up in a ton of position to take off a little more.” Continued on page 16
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Northern Nighthawks 2016 VARSITY FOOTBALL TEAM ROSTER NO. NAME HEIGHT WEIGHT 2 Myron Frazier 5’10” 202 3 Jaquan Jones 5’9” 140 4 Jordan Lane 6’1” 195 5 Stephen Scott 5’11” 188 6 Cody Knight 6’0” 156 7 Tyler Flippen 8 Ford Moser 6’0” 170 9 Garrett Marsh 6’0” 175 10 Alex Cobb 5’8” 130 11 Davis Streuli 6’0” 145 12 Christian Bass 6’0” 175 13 Michael Wymam 14 Jakob Lenard 5’10” 165 15 Evan Hoff 5’11” 195 19 Sergio Garcia 5’4” 122 21 Ephraim Koonce 145 22 Brad Cranford 5’10” 150 23 Theron Ellington 24 Jacob Halliburton 25 Chris Foster 5’7” 155 30 Justin Julian 31 Jhibryl Hogan 5’7” 117
POSITION RB RB/DB DB/WR LB/FB QB/WR QB WR/DB WR/DB WR WR/DB LB/WR WR/DB QB/WR LB/FB WR/DB RB/LB OLB/WR LB/FB WR/DB RB/DB WR/OLB WR/DB
GRADE 12 10 12 10 11 10 10 12 12 11 10 10 10 11 12 11 11 11 10 11 11 11
Photo courtesy of Strawbridge Studios
NO. NAME HEIGHT WEIGHT 32 James McCoy 5’6” 141 33 Ulysses Riggins 42 Michael Frogge 6’1” 185 44 Jonah Messer 5’11” 176 45 Christian Foxx 6’0” 200 51 Bryce Wagoner 5’9” 190 52 Myles Edringston 6’1” 234 53 Kyle Williams 6’0” 254 54 J. Hardy Stone 55 Laith Al-Jaouni 6’0” 200 60 Jake Moore 5’10” 275 64 Ryan Walton 6’0” 205 72 Ethan Stephens 5’10” 220 76 Alex Woodruff 6’1” 265 77 Dan Freeman 6’2” 205 80 Nicholas Carter 5’6 132 81 Mason O’Connor 84 Wesley Wotring 6’0” 128 85 Blake Lucas 6’4” 176 86 Benjamin Bell 6’1” 161 87 Christian Herbin
POSITION LB/FB WR/DB TE/OLB OL/DL DL/WR OL/DL OL/DL TE/DL DL/OL OL/DL OL/DL OL/DL OL/DL OL/DL OL/DL Kicker WR/DB Kicker TE/DE WR WR/DB
GRADE 11 11 9 11 11 11 11 12 12 12 12 11 10 11 11 10 10 12 10 11 11
Northern Guilford Nighthawks Coach Erik Westberg knows what big shoes he has to fill, and is ready to carry an established and successful program forward
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Coaching in your first high school game in more than 10 years will do that to you.
P ho t
In his first season as Northern Guilford’s head football coach, Erik Westberg has hit the ground running but knows the butterflies will come.
by Marc Pruitt
“That’s part of why it was so appealing to me. Coach Roscoe established a pattern of success here. It’s not necessarily daunting. I think any time you step into a new situation, there’s always going to be a point where your team has got to buy in to what you are doing. Since May, that what’s we’ve been doing. We’ve installed our vision for the program, and the guys are buying in to what we want to do. rg “The good be t s e thing is that here, the | E r ik W program has been established,” Westberg continued. “They already have a winning tradition and the expectation to win. I don’t have to worry about building that foundation. It’s more along the lines of getting everyone on the same page as to how we do things. It’s how we go about establishing this new direction we are going in.”
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So will taking the reins of one of the most successful 3-A football programs in the state of North Carolina with a team that has won four state championships – including three straight from 2010-12 – since the school opened in 2008. And so will taking over for Coach Johnny Roscoe, who established the program’s excellence and was the architect of those state-championship teams. Yes, Westberg knows he has huge shoes to fill. “I knew the situation I was stepping into when I took the job,” Westberg said.
Westberg likes what he sees so far from his team. The team lost a large senior class from last season, and the head coach said he has a bevy of seniors and juniors who will see significant playing time – some of them both ways.
Continued on page 16
Head coach: Erik Westberg (first season) Breakout players: LB Christian Bass, RB M.J. Frazier Key Players: QB Tyler Flippen, OL Jake Moore, OL Jay Hardy Stone, DL Kyle Williams Offense: Spread/Multiple Offensive coordinator: Westberg/Dexter Russell/Brad Swensen Defense: 3-4 Defensive coordinator: Jon Oakley
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Chills and thrills to mark NWHS marching band’s season
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Broadway production – complete with props such as wrought iron fencing and eight-foot-tall tombstones and vaults.
“Go big or go home.”
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It may seem a bit chaotic in the beginning as “frightened” band members seem to wander around the field. But don’t be fooled. Every move they make is choreographed and practiced to perfection.
The 29-member color guard plays a visually important role as they emerge from the tombstones and float ian o among the musicians. ct e Mc r i “They’ll be wearing exquiM at h, b and d sitely designed white dresses with sequins and they’ll have long black wigs,” Rather than just an instrumental says McMath, adding that it has required performance, this looks more like a a little extra practice for the color guard to get accustomed to performing in flowing dresses and wigs. When the Viking band hits the field for its halftime performance, fans can expect chills and thrills as the field is transformed into a haunted cemetery for the band’s show “Rise.”
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That’s Brian McMath’s motto in putting together a performance that entertains and dazzles. As band director at Northwest Guilford High School, he and his marching band definitely won’t be headed home this season.
Since coming to NWHS 13 years ago, McMath has worked tirelessly to ensure the band is always evolving and
improving, which means being on the lookout for the new and unique. “I don’t want to do the same thing or be tied to a particular design style,” says McMath. “I’d rather be tied to the fact that we’re entertaining. That we’re over the top.” It’s this attitude that has propelled the band into the competitive arena and, as of three years ago, is getting it noticed at the national level. “We want to be competitive nationally and to do that we have to be more than just a marching band,” says McMath. “There’s a high level of body work and movement required.” The band is made up of 141 members – all dedicated to creating the best performance possible. Band members began practicing in the sizzling summer heat in early August – five days a week from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. – to learn the music and moves needed to make “Rise” happen. With school now in session,
Photo by Annette Joyce/NWO | The NWHS marching band practiced during summer camp at the beginning of August to prepare for this season’s show, “Rise.”
they’ll practice between two and three hours, three days a week after school.
band and Band Boosters to fund the program.
The marching band and color guard will perform at every Friday night home game, either at halftime or after the game. With the exception of local rival Northern Guilford, the band doesn’t attend away games.
One of the biggest fundraisers takes place on Oct. 29, when NWHS will host its fall band festival, which will draw as many as 20 bands from across the region.
However, you’ll find the band back on campus on Saturday mornings preparing to hit the road for one of many competitions scheduled between now and Nov. 5. Because the band is an extra-curricular activity, there’s no funding from the school, county or state. As a result, it’s up to the
Several other projects are scheduled throughout the year, including the sale of pizza and Pepsi products, fruit and mattresses. A Belk charity event, which is held twice a year, is another popular fundraiser. In addition, other funds come from a letter-writing campaign and soliciting advertising for the fall festival program.
Meet the drum majors Nathan Adams, senior Hometown: High Point Instruments played: Tenor saxophone, bass drum, guitar Years playing music: 9 Extracurricular activities: Band, band and more band. Winter percussion en-
semble, watching and making movies Toughest class: AP Calculus Favorite food: Filet mignon Favorite musician: Dr. Dre Best vacation: Month spent in Germany Most admired musician: Hans Zimmer Favorite movie: “Interstellar”
Any siblings? Younger brother who is a sophomore (he also plays in the band) Dream job: Film director/ composer or radiologist Most looking forward to: Seeing the complexity of our show come together Goals for this year: I would very much like to make the finals in a regional competition and have the experience of reaching our highest potential and leaving it all on the field. What appeals to you about the band? The commitment that everyone has to the band and to each other. The unity is very appealing.
Tori Geib, senior Hometown: Oak Ridge Instruments played: French horn, piano Years playing music: 9 Extracurricular activities: Band, volleyball, dance, music
Toughest class: AP Calculus Favorite food: Watermelon Favorite musician: Jon Bellion Best vacation: Family trip to Costa Rica Interesting fact: I’ve petted and swum with a pink dolphin Most admired musician: Samuel Hazo Favorite movie: “Forrest Gump” Any siblings? Older sister who just left for college Dream job: Physical therapist Most looking forward to: Seeing how the band improves and grows over the coming year. Goals for this year: For the band to win the regionals. Drum major’s role: Leadership. I guess you could say Nathan and I are like the mom and dad of the band. What is the one thing you wish you could change about school? Less homework
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Northwest football ...continued from p. 9
Northern football ...continued from p. 11
positions throughout the season.”
“As a program, we are healthy in terms of our numbers,” he said. “We’ve got 95 kids between varsity and junior varsity. That also means we will be playing a lot of young guys. We’re real thin in certain areas and we’re really just trying to create some depth.”
Tre’ Turner, a basketball standout who started playing football last year, had a breakout season and came on strong during the last several games. “He figured it out about halfway through the year, football-wise, and it was just lights out the rest of the season, especially in our last game,” Rolfes said. “Here’s a kid who has played in 13 high school football games, is 6-4, 180 pounds and runs like a gazelle, and already has more Division I scholarship offers under his belt than he has games played.” Turner also missed the season opener on Aug. 19 after suffering an ankle injury playing AAU basketball over the summer, but returned to the lineup against Western Guilford on Aug. 26. Junior Jacob Leonard will see playing time as the quarterback, a move that Rolfes said Leonard earned during spring and summer workouts. “We went into the spring thinking that Hennigan was going to be our quarterback this season, but we watched as Jacob progressed and we just decided to let him roll into it. The kids have bought into him. Everybody believes in him and he’s got a lot of it figured out. I think he’s going to be a kid who surprises people. Our offensive schemes are really going to play into his hands. You’ll probably see Hennigan in there at quarterback from time to time, but outside of that, Leonard is the guy.”
Sophomore running back Cameron Cloud is also expected to figure prominently in the offense and has already gotten off to an electric start to the season. Cloud had touchdown runs of 38 and 21 yards in the win against Smith and showed flashes of his speed, shiftiness and burst. Running back Kyle Finne is also expected to be an offensive weapon once he returns after suffering a concussion, and Jacob Fields, who Rolfes called “a bull,” will anchor the offensive line.
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The Nighthawks will run a 3-4 scheme on defense under coordinator Jon Oakley, who has coached “I don’t feel like I have at several schools in Guilford County and was to coach the effort. the secondary coach at Greensboro College two That’s already been years ago with Westberg.
Offensively, Westberg will run multiple formations to use the strength of his personnel.
After serving as the defensive coordinator last season, Bryant Miller will take over the play-calling as the offensive coordinator this season.
“People want to say I’m a spread guy, which is fine, but we’ll try to run the football out of our multiple formations as much as possible,” he said.
Pat Neal, who was the head coach at Grimsley last season, is the Vikings’ new defensive coordinator.
M.J. Frazier, who transferred from Southern Durham, is expected to get the lion’s share of carries at running back.
Senior Kyle Williams will play nose tackle and Hardy Stone will play defensive end; Westberg said he has been very impressed with linebackers Evan Hoff and Christian Bass.
Zach Tyler, who ran for 117 yards and a touchdown against Smith, will also figure prominently on defense at linebacker and Austin Scott will anchor the defensive line.
“We really like what he can do with the ball in his hands,” Westberg said. “He’s got some speed and has a tendency to make a lot of guys miss him.”
“Bass played a lot as a freshman last season and led the team in tackles,” Westberg said. “He’s put on about 20 pounds and has looked really good so far.”
Sophomore Tyler Flippen gets the nod at quarterback after impressing Westberg during summer workouts.
Rounding out the secondary, Westberg expects Lane, Moser and Cody Knight to be the leaders.
“Tyler has progressed really well,” Westberg said. “He understands the offense and is getting better and better every day. I’ve been adding more and more to his plate. He’s making the right reads and has taken charge.”
“We like what we’ve got on defense,” Westberg said. “A lot of great players who really fly to the ball. They’re getting the hang of how we want them to line up, which was a little challenging when we first started because of the new philosophy. The one thing I’ve learned from our preseason scrimmages is how hard these guys are going to play. I don’t feel like I have to coach the effort. That’s already been established here. There’s a lot of pride.”
In the secondary, Rolfes is expecting big things from Cody Miller and Jalen Spicer, who is playing football for the first time. “We’ve seen a lot of good things from the team after our scrimmages and first game,” Rolfes said. “We’re excited to see how things shape up and look forward to having everyone healthy and back on the field.”
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the ins and outs, especially in the passing game,” Westberg said. “Swensen was at UNC Pembroke the last three years and is the offensive line coach, so I go through him with the run game stuff and we kind of marry them together.”
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Erik Westberg, head coach
Westberg also likes what he has seen from his receiving corps, which will include freshmen Michael Wyman, Garrett Marsh and Ford Moser, and Jordan Lane, who only played on defense last season. In the trenches, seniors Jay Hardy Stone and Jake Moore will anchor the offensive line for offensive coordinators Dexter Russell (receivers coach) and Brad Swensen (offensive line), with Westberg ultimately calling the plays during games. “Dexter’s been in this offense for at least five years because he was with me at Greensboro College, so he really knows
And about those butterflies that are sure to show up sometime before 7:30 on Friday evenings? “You always get those nerves on game days,” he said. “It’s just part of it. Once you kick off, you kind of get into the flow of it and the game takes over. I’ll be nervous before kickoff Friday nights, for sure. It’s a good nervous, though.”
Nighthawks band is pumped up, ready to play Football season’s halftime show will feature songs from Earth, Wind and Fire by Annette Joyce Though Michael Courey, Northern Guilford High School’s band director, enjoys a broad range of music, he has a special fondness for the iconic group Earth, Wind and Fire. Not surprisingly, Northern’s first football halftime show features tunes from that group. When Northern’s marching band takes the field this season, they’ll be playing such memorable songs as “Getaway,” “September” and “Boogie Wonderland.” It’s a modern take on some of the more timeless songs generated by the disco days of the ‘70s. Since assuming the role of band director last February after former band director Ed Kimbrough retired, Courey has been introducing his personality into the music program while also remaining committed to preserving the solid and vibrant program built by his predecessor. “Everyone was worried about the transition,” ad-
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Photo courtesy of Strawbridge Studios | The Northern High School Nighthawks marching band is ready to provide another season of excitement and entertainment.
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Northern Nighthawk cheerleaders by Jonathan Williams With the 2016 football season now underway, Northern Guilford High School’s cheerleading squad is ready to bring excitement and school pride to Nighthawk Nation. “These girls bring enthusiasm to everything they do,” head cheerleading coach Jennifer Jarrett says. “Whether it is practice, football and basketball games, or giving back to the community, our girls are dedicated to bringing enthusiasm and passion to our teams, school and community.” Time management is one of the practical skills these cheerleaders learn quickly. Unlike other student athletes whose sport usually spans about four months out of the school year, cheerleaders practice and perform from August to March; last year the squad
only took one week off during that time period, and even cheered the day after Thanksgiving for football playoffs and the day after Christmas for basketball competitions. Being in sync with Northern’s beloved marching band is important, and prior to each football game the cheerleading captains coordinate with the band’s drum majors. The cheerleaders also create large signs and banners to get the crowd pumped up prior to Friday night football games and to showcase their pride in the school and the football team. In addition to three nights of weekly practices and Friday night games, many of the cheerleaders also help coach younger cheerleaders with the Northern Guilford Youth Football League.
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Photo courtesy of Strawbridge Studios | The Northern Guilford varsity cheerleading squad includes, from L to R, (front row) Captain Sophie Ritchie, Alexus Leach, Mikala Richmond, Brittany Jones, Captain Emma Brandberg; (middle row) Makaela Beckman, Timia Bryant, Lideah Shivley, Amiaya Springs, Taylor Clark, Hope Purcell; (back row) Lindsay Bourn, Caroline Connelly, Kathryn Waite, Anika Ames, Maddie Edwards, Taylor Morgan.
Northwest Viking cheerleaders by Jonathan Williams Lights flicker and engulf the field against a backdrop of the setting sun as fans eagerly fill the stands donned in red, black and white. Players and coaches take the field, and from the anticipation of the first whistle to the last second on the clock the Northwest Viking cheerleaders are there, ready to keep the crowd energized. In defining what it means to be a Northwest Viking cheerleader, head coach Jennifer LovedayDonovan said it all comes down to a simple concept: this squad is a family. “A family dynamic is something that is very important to the program,” Loveday-Donovan said. “We spend so much time together, we eat dinner together, and we have a great deal of conversations together. We’re not just here for game day.” The cheerleading squad went through some major changes last year after Loveday-Donovan took over as head coach and she and her staff
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Photo courtesy of Lifetouch | The Northwest varsity cheerleading squad includes, L to R, (front row) Sarah Brown, Alexis Riccio, Shaylee Johnstun, Maddie Cassetty, Cassidy Davis, Jona Tillman, Alyssa Sutton, Emma Rust; (middle row) Claire Riffle, Faith Pulliam, Karlee Rottweiler, Taylor Bolejack, Madison Brewer, Mallory Maurer, Grace Walker; (back row) Coach Loveday-Donovan, Coach Pennington, Tori Harris, Arianna Braiman, Kinle Rackard, Katherine Durham, Ashley Elias, Coach Skordahl.
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Northern cheer ...continued from p. 18 This year’s varsity cheerleading squad is comprised of five seniors, seven juniors and five sophomores. With so many sophomores and juniors, some of the seniors on the squad have stepped into a leadership role and taken it upon themselves to prepare their younger squad members for the season, even creating and producing short instructional videos on cheerleading fundamentals. “Having cheered for the past four years for Northern High School, I’ve been able to work on my leadership skills,” Alexus Leach, a senior, confirmed. She also says she’s gained a lot of friends through cheerleading, and enjoys being well known around the school. Despite their busy schedule, the cheerleading squad understands academics must be a priority. Coaches note
that the girls often squeeze some time in for homework before practices, and they help each other when needed with algebra problems, history questions and scientific formulas. “I have always been impressed with how the girls look out for one another,” assistant coach Donna Pellegrino said, noting the girls’ camaraderie strengthened during cheer camp this summer. “They cheer each other on with nothing but compliments, and are very supportive of one another.” This year’s Northern Guilford cheerleading squad attended the Edge Dance & Cheer camp at North Carolina State University Aug. 1-3. During the camp, five of the cheerleaders individually won All American awards and the squad won the Jump award and the Precise Motion award.
Northwest cheer ...continued from p. 19 have continued to modify the vision for the cheerleading program since then. The ultimate goal is to create wellrounded individuals conscious of the community around them.
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“Our entire perspective this year is different,” Loveday-Donovan said. “This year we will not be competing as a squad against other schools. When you’re focused on competition the competition is, of course, your end result. This year, we’re switching gears and concentrating on producing good community members, as well as supporting one another. With this transition, the coaching staff hopes these girls will know what path they will be on once they leave us.” The varsity cheerleading squad is comprised of 20 girls this year; that’s four less members than last year and Loveday-Donovan explains that decision was made to help develop stronger and deeper bonds among squad members. The junior varsity program will increase its numbers while continuing to grow and improve the program for the future.
In order to better identify with the players the cheerleaders will be supporting, another change this year is that the uniforms will feature the word “Viking” across the top rather than “NW.” On investing in her cheerleaders, Loveday-Donovan said, “Our girls know that we care a lot about them. Our role as educators is involved in our coaching. We read over resumes, give advice on college applications, and want to be a strong support system for these girls both now and in the future.” Raised in a modest home in Charleston, Loveday-Donovan worked hard to earn her education and has just completed requirements for her doctorate degree in teacher leadership. She says her family has been very supportive throughout her 26 years of cheerleading and she hopes to provide the same level of support and be a positive example to her squad members. “The girls already have the skills, and at the end of the day we’re determined to bring positive attitude and school spirit in everything we do,” she said.
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Northern band ...continued from p. 17 mitted Courey, who says he has become good friends with Kimbrough since the two first met last year.
of the Northern Music Booster Club. “We’re at every home game and play at every away game and we’re very much a part of “My goal is not to take the ‘pumping up’ process. away, but to add to what It’s a very unique experi(Kimbrough) set up,” ence.” Courey said. Along with the halfThat’s exactly what time show, the band does this 24-year-old dynaa pregame show and mo seems to be doing. plays in the stands One of his goals is to throughout the game. grow the band. With Michael Courey, band director Each home football 62 active members, this Photo courtesy of Strawbridge Studios game during the seayear’s marching band is son has a theme and already larger than last year and Courey students come to the games dressed expects to bring that total to 70 memaccordingly. For instance, there’s Neon bers within a few weeks. Night, Camo Night and Jungle Boogie While there will be some changes Night. The band always comes up with with the band this year, one important a song that coordinates with the theme thing will remain the same – the strong of the evening. relationship between the band, the footFor Neon Night, the entire band will ball program and the student body. be sporting neon T-shirts in pink, yellow “We are a community football and lime and rocking the “Pokemon Theme Song” to get the crowd riled up band,” said Melinda Morton, president
for the game. Before the start of football season, the band participated in a three-week camp that had them practicing in the hot summer sun four days a week from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. They continue to practice two days a week while perfecting their routines. Courey is extremely happy about the group’s progress. “This is the first year that the entire half-time show will be performed at our first game,” he said.
Meet the drum majors Lindsey Oldt, junior Hometown: Greensboro Instruments played: Flute, bass drum Years playing music: 5 Extracurricular activities: Marching band, honors wind ensemble, Invisible Children club, varsity swimming Toughest class: AP Chemistry Favorite food: Spaghetti or any kind of pasta
Having been part of a marching band since his high school years, Courey knows the personal impact that being a member of the band can have. “It was such a family atmosphere. There was a lot of pride in what we did,” he said of his own band experience. “I want to give (these kids) the same experience that I had. I also want the students to have a lot of pride in how they perform and I want to be able to teach them good practice habits.” Favorite musician/band: The Story So Far Best vacation: Disney World and Universal Studios Most admired musician: Amy Winehouse Favorite movie: “Forrest Gump” Any siblings? Younger sister Dream job: Pilot Something very few people know about you: I observe a lot, so I understand more
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than people think I do. Nickname: Lulu Pre-performance ritual: Quietly reflect on what we’re going to do. Encourage other band members. Most looking forward to: Establishing good relationships with other members, working really hard and growing the band program. What appeals to you about the band? How involved we get to be with the student body and the football team, and the mutual respect between the marching band and the football team. What is one thing you wish you could change about school? Find a way for people to be nicer to each other.
Hannah O’Kelley, junior Hometown: Greensboro Instruments played: Trumpet, euphonium, ukulele Years playing music: 10 Extracurricular activities: Marching band, wind ensemble, Student Council, Ukulele Club, Women’s Rights Club, Science Olympiad Toughest class: AP Chemistry Favorite food: Nachos Favorite musician/ band: Gorillaz Best vacation: Family trip to Europe Most admired musician: My uncle, Robert, who has been playing the piano since he was around 2 years old. Favorite movie: “The Rocky Horror Picture Show” Any siblings? Younger brother, Patrick, who’s the best brother ever Dream job: Pediatrician Something very few people know about you: I have an entire collection of costumes and love to dress up for Halloween. Nickname: Hoho Most looking forward to: Having everyone in the marching band feel like we’re all a big family and having unity between the sections.
Goals for this year: To be able to balance fun and progress. What appeals to you about the band? All the friends I’ve made. Band is my happy place. What is one thing you wish you could change about school? More attention and support given to the arts programs
Meet the band manager captain Andrew Morton, senior Hometown: Summerfield Instruments played: Trombone, bass guitar Years playing music: 10 Extracurricular activities: Marching band, National Honor Society, working on mechanical projects Toughest class: Honors World History Favorite food: Baked spaghetti Favorite musician/band: Rush Best vacation: Staying on Lake Norman Most admired musician: Geddy Lee Favorite movie: “Twister” Any siblings? Younger sister. Dream job: Fire chief in a large city Something very few people know about you: I have two different sized feet Nickname: Drew Pre-performance ritual: Fist bump everyone in the room Band manager captain’s role: Acts as assistant band director for marching band. Lead large sectional groups and help with unloading and setting up equipment. Most looking forward to: Seeing all of the underclassmen and new band students become better leaders and musicians. What’s one thing most people don’t know about band? The culture and how everyone fits in. The fun everyone has in the band. What is one thing you wish you could change about school? The amount of homework
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