Opelika High School kicked off their second home game of the season with a lively pep rally Thursday evening in downtown Opelika. Surrounded by a plethora of food, businesses and proud parents, this event happens only once a year in order to cheer on the bulldogs before their big game with their long term rivals, Auburn High School.
The Opelika Courthouse square was quickly filled with community members from students showing their school spirit to parents supporting their football, cheerleading or band children.
“It is a great local event,” a parent to one of the students said, “In a small town like Opelika you can go to any event and see 20 people you know and this is a great time to get together. We have a varsity cheerleader on the team this year so we are pretty excited for the big game.”
The energy of the environment could be seen and heard, especially heard, with the school's signature chants ringing throughout the event and the school's bulldog mascots on full display.
“Go bulldogs,” said Jala Mitchell, a student at Opelika High School. “Send the tigers back in time.”
Young children and parents ready and excited for this annual event. Businesses offered free shakers and wristbands to everyone attending in order to heighten the atmosphere and spirit of the crowd further.
Dr. Farrell Seymore, the principal of Opelika High School, said they could not have picked a better day to have this event.
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“This is great weather for an event like this,” Seymore said. “We couldn’t have had a better day, with the breeze and low humidity, you couldn’t ask for anything better in August.”
Another staff member who was proud of the success of this event and his team was Head Varsity Football Coach Erik Speakman said the annual rivalry game is important to the school and community.
“Auburn has been our number one rival for years,” Speakman said. “This will be the 94th year in a row Opelika High will be playing against Auburn. Auburn is much larger than Opelika which is why they are in different divisions but this is a long standing tradition that will continue on for many more years."
Executive Director and Event Coordinator Ken Ward said that the organization of this event was a seamless process. The team was able to put the event together in about three weeks.
“We look forward to doing this as a yearly thing,” Ward said. “Because we see it as a pride thing and a way for downtown to help with the local schools and businesses for the community. This has been a great opportunity for us to really celebrate, a lot of the time this game is considered the iron bowl for the state.”
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