Lee Cozart ’17
EHS Weekend. A fitting end to a Woodberry fall full of standardized testing, college applications, and pep rallies. Senior fall here at The Forest goes by quickly, and the second Saturday in November is the day that the entire school looks forward to. Beating the Goons infects students’ minds for the entire week, and some for the entire year. Seniors, knowing that this is the last go-round, savor the entire weekend from Friday afternoon to Sunday morning. There’s a reason why it’s called The Game and not just a game. The extra bleachers, senior T-shirts, and questionable haircuts make it more than a football game because that’s exactly what it is. The history behind the WFS vs. EHS game dates back 116 years with hundreds of teams adding their own chapters. The Game is the climax of the fall; it’s when each student can finally loosen up as he screams his voice away for the betterment of the team. That is, if they have any voice left from the night before.
The Bonfire. The pep rally of all pep rallies. New boys can finally dress up, alumni return to re-live the glory days, and parents look for their sons among the horde of face paint and fire. So much goes into this one night: the Captains Club dinner, torch making, all-school assemblies, and the procession. It’s the highlight of the year for many, and they make the most of it. It is the cheerleaders’ last hurrah as we perform on the biggest stage of our lives. We work on our Feelings all fall, saving the best ones for this Friday night. We read over the script ten times just to be sure. We shirk our academic duties for a few days because the Bonfire takes priority. Former cheerleaders return along with their expectations and fond memories of their own Bonfires. It is a Friday night that not only the cheerleaders, but the entire Woodberry community remembers forever. Think this is the best part? Well guess again because it’s only the beginning.
The Game. It’s far and away the biggest game of the year for the football team. Thousands of people show up to witness the Oldest Rivalry in the South, and this year’s projections estimate over 10,000 people will be in and around Johnson Stadium. This number seems to grow every time I hear it, but the fact that people say this seriously has to give it some merit. The Game is a unique time for the cheerleaders because we get to facilitate the flashy, fun activities: leading the bagpipe-accompanied procession down the hill, exterminating the Goon Squad, and brawling with the enemy’s cheerleaders. If the Bonfire didn’t murder our voices, 2 PM to 4PM will. We throw out the tattered jumpsuits for classier white sweaters and slacks to show the Goons how atrocious their leather and face paint looks. Commanding a crowd of four hundred plus is enough to get anyone’s blood pumping, but doing it to psychologically beat Episcopal makes it that much better. The zeroes on the clock mark the end of the cheerleaders’ valiant run of pep rallies, football games, and New Boy orientation; and all that’s left are a few basketball games to occupy the long January nights. It’s a bittersweet end to a memorable fall, but there is no better way to go out.
Saturday night. Did I mention that there’s a third part to EHS Weekend? Yes, after the cheerleaders get over fall’s ending, we all look forward to a well-deserved night in Charlottesville. That goes for every student, as each one makes special plans to make the most out of his one night of freedom. Whether he goes to a friend’s house, the Holiday Inn in Orange, or the infamous DoubleTree; a long night of rest awaits him. Each student has his own way of relaxing before exam week, and that is why I can’t say much about Saturday night. One thing is for certain though; this weekend will be placed among the ranks of graduation, weddings, and childbirths. Let’s make it that much better and Beat EHS.