Red Carpet Bowl again proves the best start to the high school football season

Published 12:30 am Saturday, August 22, 2015

The football season officially commenced at Friday night’s Red Carpet Bowl.

“We exist to showcase Vicksburg, to showcase the students of this community, to provide scholarship monies, all of our proceeds above our expenses go towards scholarships,” said Gary Anderton, chairman of the Red Carpet Bowl.

The stands were packed at Warren Central High School’s football stadium for the 6 p.m. game of Vicksburg vs. Harrison County and the 8:30 p.m. game of Wayne County vs. Warren Central.

Email newsletter signup

Sign up for The Vicksburg Post's free newsletters

Check which newsletters you would like to receive
  • Vicksburg News: Sent daily at 5 am
  • Vicksburg Sports: Sent daily at 10 am
  • Vicksburg Living: Sent on 15th of each month

“This is probably the biggest crowd that we’ve had in the past four or five years,” Anderton said.

Vicksburg band booster Pamela Elam was in the crowd to cheer on her daughter who is a junior on the color guard. She loves seeing the students happy and enjoying themselves.

“I just feel so proud. They do a great job, and I love to see them happy and performing to the best of their ability,” Elam said.

The Pride of Vicksburg Band played music throughout the night, led by senior drum major Jamison Watson and 10th-grade assistant Valina Thuha. Their halftime show theme was divas, and including songs by Whitney Houston and Tina Turner.

“We’re going to have somebody live on stage singing while we’re performing, and it’s suppose to feel like you’re in a concert,” Watson said.

Watson loves what he does and said the band is sounding great. This is Thuha’s first year as a drum major and she felt a little jittery but excited.

“I’m excited. It’s fresh, it’s new and I’m just ready for everything to get going,” Thuha said.

Tierra Burns is a freshman clarinet player who was feeling a little nervous for her first halftime show, but she was also excited for the season and getting to support the team at all the games.

Freshman French horn player Riley Hamilton was having similar nervous feelings in the Warren Central Big Blue Band. The idea of the crowd watching was slightly intimidating to her.

“There’s so many people watching and it’s the first football game,” Hamilton said.

However, Warren Central senior tuba player Jeremy Stuckey was excited and ready to play. He said the band has been putting in hard work since early August to get their show on the field, and they had the first movement down for Friday night’s game.

“We’ll pretty much be working on that until the fall when we go to contest,” Stuckey said.

Besides the band members, there were dance teams and cheerleaders who put in a lot of work to prepare for the football season. Senior Vickette Cassie Pierce was sad to start off her final season and isn’t ready to leave just yet. She will be dancing at Mississippi State next year, but she plans to come back and visit her high school team.

“It’s exciting, but I really don’t want to leave,” Pierce said.

Ashley Jones, a senior cheerleader for Vicksburg, was looking forward to a win from the football team.

“I want us to win, because since I’ve been cheering here we’ve never won a Red Carpet Bowl,” Jones said. “It’s my senior year, so I want them to win.”

She enjoys getting the crowd involved with the new cheers they have been learning.

“Just the crowd getting involved with cheering with us, it really help motivate the team as a whole,” Jones said.

First-year cheerleading coach Kristen Williams said Vicksburg High is a great school throughout, from the teachers to the students, to the administration, and she is working to bring back the old school pride the school had when she was a student.

“It’s just great trying to bring some of the pride back to Vicksburg because Vicksburg High is a great school,” Williams said.

Warren Central football booster Charles and Brandy Katzenmeyer were selling T-shirts to support the team and raise money to feed the guys before the game. The shirts said, “11 Brothers are Hard to Beat.” They hope the team stays safe this season and will be in the crowd for every game.

Booster Alex Monsour knew it was going to be a tough game for the Vikings, but he was looking for a hard fought win.

“When you see your son taking on something like that… it does your heart good to see him out there, and he just won’t give up. He’s playing for his team, and he’s helping his team out there,” Monsour said.