Pity the folks within several blocks of Sierra High trying to have a nice quiet Friday evening watching the World Series on television.
They had to turn the volume up so the play-by-play game coverage wouldn’t be drowned out by the roar coming from Daniel Teicheira Memorial Stadium as the Valley Oak League’s only undefeated team — Sierra — hosted East Union High.
Both Sierra High and visiting East Union had no need for amplification equipment to express their school loyalty. It was so loud that it was almost flashback time to the 1960s when football truly ruled Friday nights in Manteca with shops closing up early so people could secure seats.
The crowd wasn’t to the epic levels of some past games when East Union and Manteca locked horns in the early days drawing estimated standing room only crowds as large as 8,000 plus. But when it came to students supporting their team and school they made it clear Friday night football games still matter.
Before you stepped into the stadium, Sierra High displayed class in the form of three massive signs on the back of the visitors’ bleachers complete with the Sierra High and East Union mascot. They do the same when Manteca visits.
And then there was the opening howl that followed a faculty member recording of Principal Steve Clark’s original Ode to the Timberwolves played over the public address system to background music prior to Sierra charging through their tunnel and busting though a sign reading “20 years: Victory & Honor.”
It’s highly likely that East Union partisans probably thought the intro was a tad on the long side but, hey, it was Sierra’s homecoming.
The Wolf Pack student cheer section was up to the task with a presence and volume that puts some college cheer sections to shame. Numbering some 300 plus strong, by the time you toss in the Timberwolves marching band you couldn’t get a seat in front of the press box section on the 50-yard line even if you had a reservation. And yes, then black is back. Try as you might you could only find black or blue.
The Red Sea wasn’t missing in action, far from it. The students cheer section was over 100 strong with each and every students staying on their feet and almost everyone yelling every time a cheer let lose. There are high school teams that can’t even rustle up a 100 students for their cheer sections at home games let alone on the road.
Sierra had the best home crowd so far this season but EU gave them a run for the money. During the traditional “we can’t hear you” chants EU at times sounded louder than Sierra from the end zones even though the wind was blowing in the Timberwolves’ favor. That said the Lancers are by far the most impressive visiting student cheer team to date. And that includes Oakdale that jammed the Sierra visitor’s bleachers the week prior and didn’t sound half as loud.
What EU lacked in numbers, they made up in wit.
They had the predictable big “D” and picket “fence” for “de-fense” chants. But they also had a student decked out as Moses who got the Red Sea student cheer section to “part.”
Sierra escalated the sign war pushing 200 that were placed throughout the stadium. EU had about a tenth of that which sis till more than most schools have at their home games. But again, what EU lacked in volume they made up for in wit with gems such as “Drown in the Red Sea” and “Red Sea (with the greater than symbol) Puppy Pack.”
The Wolf Pack at one point released a zinger of their own by chanting, “red puddle” repeatedly.
Sierra ended up winning the game 35 to 21. But when it came to the student cheer if you handicap East Union for being on the road it was a toss-up. That’s exactly what Friday night in the fall should be if you’re in high school — bleeding Lancer red, being royal Sierra blue or making everyone envy of Manteca green.
Now the question is whether Sierra student cheer even needs to be handicapped when they visit Manteca High this Friday. True, its Halloween but this is your team, your school, and your shot at a VOL championship. Also will Manteca’s student cheer be out in force even though they’re not in the driver’s seat for the VOL title? East Union arguably is the truest to their school through thick and thin but perhaps Manteca will prove that statement wrong.