Courtesy of The Warcry
Written by: Ivy Hyatt
The Warcry staff was curious as to why students that attend Heard County High School participate in athletics and other extracurricular activities at such a high rate.
What drives a student to want dedicate their time to join an after school activity? Research shows that students who are involved in extracurricular activities in school are more likely to graduate, make better grades, and are more likely to complete a post-secondary program. But this does not answer the question as to why Heard County students are more involved than their peers at other schools.
In order to answer this pending question, we approached seniors that have been involved in these activities nearly their entire school careers. Hopefully, the following anecdotal evidence will enlighten us all.
By: Jonathan Hunt
For the past four years, playing football for Heard County High School has been a wonderful experience. The sound of the cowbells while playing under those Friday night-lights will forever hold a place in my heart. Throughout our surrounding area, Heard County was one of the best at football and I believe it has a lot to do with our coaches, players, and fans.
The coaches at Heard County High School have been like a second family to me throughout the past four years. The irreplaceable bond that we have made will never be broken.
Coach Barron along with the rest of the coaches do a great job in making sure that everything is going smoothly at home and that you are not getting in trouble. They make it a personal goal to put their students above themselves, and make sure that they are being the best individuals that they can be so that they may be successful in the future.
Because of the coaches and their family atmosphere, my teammates and I are closer than ever. They could be a starter or they could be a fourth stringer, but each person has the same importance as any other.
We all contribute something that makes the team better. We are just like brothers. We may argue, we may fight, we may hate each other for a little while, but when we take the helmet and pads off and get in the locker room, all the hate stops and we love each other and realize that we would go to war for each other. There is nothing that could break the bond between my brothers and me.
The fans are the biggest part of a Friday night game. Without the fans, there would be neither motivation nor the money to play. Through fundraisers, the fans have contributed gracious donations that helped pay for our pre-game meals, they helped pay for our brand new weight room, and they also spend their hard earned money at the gate to come watch us play.
The game would not be the same without the thousands of fans supporting us every Friday night with their cowbells, horns, and loud cheers. The fans are really what make the games so exciting.
By: Jordan Callahan
My favorite part of marching band is definitely performing at half-time on Friday nights. The feeling of performing in front of my entire community, friends, and family cannot be described in words. The Marching Braves practice diligently all week, solely for those ten minutes of glory. That is what we look forward to and why we do what we do, so it is wonderful whenever we get a standing ovation.
Our new band director, Armond Tyson, is just the kind of person our band needs to excel; but more importantly, he makes us WANT to excel. He graduated from the University of West Georgia and taught band, chorus, and orchestra at Needwood Middle School and Brunswick High School from 2011-2013. Mr. Tyson makes our practice after school enjoyable, yet still productive.
The assistant director, Jaime Barnard, went to college at Southern Union and finished at Jacksonville State University. This is her eleventh year teaching at Heard County, and she has experience in nearly every section of the band. She primarily works with the drum major, Erica Hendrix, to improve her conducting, and also constructs the color guard dance.
Our band this year has been absolutely outstanding. We have all gotten along wonderfully. I, being a part of the color guard, have never had a greater group of girls to work beside. They have all been so enthusiastic and devoted to this band that it is hard to not enjoy every second of it. The band has also been extremely dedicated to this show and has progressed further in the past few weeks than ever expected.
My parents are my main supporters. They help me practice and they push me to strive to be the best I can be. They have always supported me in everything I do. I am also appreciative of how supportive the community has been to the band all these years.
Our community has helped us with carwashes and has donated money and time to the Marching Braves. We all feel their love and support and cannot express how grateful we are to be involved with such people.
By: Jasmine Jacobs
I love playing softball at Heard County High School because it allows me to get to know other girls that love the game as much as I do. Being a senior, I can see how much closer our team has grown together since I was a freshman. It is an honor to be part of such a successful team.
Our coaches are very knowledgeable about the game. They push us to be better at practice, constantly teaching us new things. They do not just teach us about softball. They have taught me to be disciplined and hard working, which are things that I can carry with me in life. It is a blessing to have amazing coaches that care about each and every single player.
The relationships you develop with your teammates can not be found anywhere else. My teammates are my second family. We all work together to reach the same goals. What we do requires a lot of work but it has also been fun. I have made memories with each of the girls that I will never forget.
Softball is not a very popular sport, but the past few years our fans in the community have supported is greatly. We would not be where we are today without them motivating us and cheering us on. We hope to continue to get their love and support because it makes us strive to be better for them.
By: Nicole Neighbors
Cheerleading here at the high school is much more than what people think. We do not do it because we want to be “popular’ or just because we want the title of “being a cheerleader,” we do it because we love what we do. We love cheering for our boys every Friday night, and getting the crowd pumped up.
We love coloring each player and coaches pick-a-player for students to wear every game day. We love going through the community to sell the classic spirit ribbons. We love to look up in the stands and see a little girl trying to do the cheers with us. We live for moments like that, simply because we love what we do.
This year we have the best coach we could ever ask for, Amanda Pike. She is a literature teacher at the high school and a mother to two wonderful boys, Nate and Ben. It feels amazing to have a coach that loves your sport just as much as you do.
This is her comeback year after not coaching for five years, and she is ecstatic. I love looking up in the stands and seeing her do our cheer with us. I cannot express this feeling into words that I have when it comes to our relationship. We can sit together for hours and just discuss everything. She loves each and every one of us like we are her own daughters.
I remember going to little girls cheer camp, a little camp for elementary school girls that the high school cheerleaders put on, and seeing her and how awesome those high school girls looked. And now, here I am as senior with her as my coach, and it feels wonderful. We are truly blessed to have someone who cares for us and what we do as much as she does.
Our squad this year consists of fourteen girls. Seniors: Caitlin Wiggins (Captain), Nicole Neighbors, and Abbie Padgett. Juniors: Kiara Robinson, Hannah Fairbanks, Dallis Watts, and Taylor Brazil. Sophomores: Alexis Emory, Madelyn Rusinyak, Brittany Witcher, and Angel North. Freshmen: Makayla Fuller, Madison Laprade, and Savannah Stephens.
Along with our coach, we are one big family. These are all my sisters, or as us seniors call them, our “cheer babies.” I know that this year we can achieve great things as long as we stick together.
The great thing about our community is that it is a small town. Some people hate that, but I for one love it. You get to know everyone and their momma around here. That makes us one big, Braves Nation family.
Not only is it just the football players, marching band, and cheerleaders family that comes to watch their child play, but everyone comes out to see the boys and girls of fall. No matter if their children are not even in high school or if their children have already graduated.
People come and sit on the grass or even stand up if there aren’t enough seats. It is the fact our community just has so much spirit and pride. Town businesses decorate their windows; people paint faces, get temporary tattoos, and so much more.
I believe we have the most spirited community around. And that is key point to every Friday night. I hope to see everyone at the football games this year cheering on their Braves.