Making an entrance

To rally the fans at the start of high school football games, some teams try to make a flashy entrance. The traditional method is to have the team charge onto the field through a large paper banner held by the cheerleaders. In more recent years, some teams have adopted an inflatable gateway for the team to run through. Before the start of West High’s game against Granite Bay in Tracy, West employed one of those gateways, but added a twist.

(Camera: Nikon D300. Lens: Nikkor 17-55mm @ 17mm. Exposure: 1/80th sec. @ f/2.8. ISO:1600).

Vince Vargas is the West junior varsity team’s equipment manager/trainer, but on the side he’s a DJ. He set up some of his equipment, a fog machine, a boom box and disco lights, in the tunnel. Before the start of the game Vargas checked several times to make sure everything was working just right. Disaster almost struck when the power to the fan that inflated the arch was cut off. It slowly began to collapse as Vargas ran to the nearby portable classroom. A long extension cord wound its way from the fan to the room and he was able to get it up and running again.

(Camera: Nikon D300. Lens: Nikkor 17-55mm @ 17mm. Exposure: 1/125th sec. @ f/2.8 w/ fill-flash. ISO:1600).

As the team lined up in the tunnel, Vargas turned it all on. The beat of an infectious Michael Jackson tune belted out of the boom box and some of the players started to groove with it. Then, with smoke pouring out and multi-hued lights flashing, the team charged through and took the field with style and panache.

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