Friday, August 26, 2016

Glamour on the Gridiron

Members of the Sam Rayburn High School TexAnns show
their "trademark" smile.
Photo by Donna Alsdorf
Copyright 2016 All Rights Reserved
By Don Green
Staff Correspondent
Copyright 2016 TexSport Publications

PASADENA, TEXAS (August 26, 2016) The grueling hours began in early May.  There were ice packs, aching muscles and hidden tears of frustration.  All the hard work carried over into the summer, with conditioning skills to prepare the bodies for the coming season.  Thursday, August 25 arrived. It was finally game time.  These athletes waited patiently for the horn signaling their turn on the field.  The scoreboard read: ClementsRangers 30, Sam Rayburn Texans 0, and then their game began.  You see, they compete during the game within the game; also called halftime.  The Sam Rayburn TexAnns are a group of 50 young ladies that also happen to be conditioned athletes. They strut onto the center of the field to a 50-year tradition.  The Mighty Texan Band serenades the officer line with “They’re Playing Our Song”.  The rest of the team joins the officer formation for the performance. Their field pom routine lasts less than five minutes, but months of preparation go into those moments.  They have waited since May for their debut under the lights.

These ladies are coached by a team of home grown talents; LaNeese Lehrmann Gareri and Tracey Neal Klingler, both members of the SouthHouston Janettes during their youth. Between them, they total over 25 years serving as an assistant or director.  They know the game as well as any fan.  They can identify a formation problem on the line of scrimmage and during the halftime show as well.  Ms. Gareri has twice been director of a team that danced during halftime of a state championship game.  She has also been the mom of a varsity football competitor, and supporter of a middle school athlete.  Mrs. Klingler serves as mom to a current varsity softball and volleyball coach, a collegiate football player, and a high school volleyball stand-out.  She is also spouse to a current varsity football coach. Their preparation and investment for this evening is quite impressive.  The resume of every dance director in Pasadena I.S.D. is equally stellar.

Lieutenant Selina Ramirez flies
through the air during the TexAnns' performance.
Photo by Donna Alsdorf
Copyright 2016 All Rights Reserved.
After a sizzling pom routine the TexAnns leave the field with that "trademark" smile.  The applause shows the crowd was impressed. Was the routine absolutely perfect….probably not.  The dancers are aware of the little gaffes and the directors see the areas that require improvement.  There were no yellow flags on the field, however there were minor infractions that will cause adjustments. They will look at film and relive the routine, pledging not to repeat the tiny mistakes on their next attempt.

All along you thought this game was just about the warriors of the gridiron.  However there are so many other students representing with grit and determination.  Cheerleaders, band and color guard, JROTC, and even student athletic trainers; all displaying a logo and doing a yeoman’s job.  Each of those organizations have a bevy of school personnel and loving family members serving as their entourage.  Back at home the members of the volleyball team have finished their own practice and anxiously await their own opportunity that will occur Friday evening.

Finally, just after 9 p.m. on a school day that started at 7:05 a.m., we are ready to load those buses and travel 45 minutes back home.  The final score was 30-7. The Texans were finally able to cross the goal line during the fourth quarter, but unable to match the first half total of the Rangers. In spite of the disappointing point total all students leave the stadium as excellent representatives of Sam Rayburn High School and Pasadena I.S.D. 

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