At Shoemaker High School, Grey Wolf spirit is surging.
Shoemaker heads to Baylor’s Floyd Casey Stadium in Waco for a 7:30 p.m. Saturday first-round football playoff game and school spirit leaders are getting ready.
All hands were on deck this week to prepare for a pep rally today and the big game Saturday as an art class put brush to paper to paint a huge support banner.
Art teacher Matthew Rudd had one of his classes paint a pair of blue-and-black banners with the words “Playoff Bound” and “Wolf Pack.”
Students will have a chance to sign the banners, which will make the trip to Waco and be part of the encouragement for the team as they face Mansfield Timberview on Saturday.
While the school is proud, student activities coordinator Dawn Richardson said it’s a calm and cool excitement.
“I have to hand it to them, it hasn’t taken over,” said Richardson, who paused to make an announcement to the school about pep rally tickets.
“I love that our coaches are leading our young men to take care of school at school and to take care of the game in the game,” she said. “The work ethic and focus is wonderful.”
Shoemaker opened in 2000 and has only made it to the football post season once before.
In addition to buses filled with athletes, band members and spirit crew, two additional school buses will transport students to the game who are not part of the team, band or other specific spirit group.
Among those painting the banner this week were two cheerleaders and a team mascot.
“It’s really exciting,” said Brianna Thornton, a Shoemaker junior and cheerleader. “We enjoy it. We’re just trying to pep them up for it.”
A lot of students “are buying tickets and getting seats on the spirit bus and getting rides to the game. There’s going to be a lot of excitement and adrenaline,” she said.
Estefania Rosario Malave, a Shoemaker senior, mascot and senior corps commander, said she cried when her team beat Waco Midway on the road, helping to solidify the Grey Wolves’ playoff entry.
“This has been a dream to make the playoffs,” she said. “This is something I’ll be able to tell my kids. We want to support the boys and we hope they go far.”
Sophomore cheerleader Monee Boomer said she’s seen growth in interest in going to games and rising excitement.
“It’s very exciting,” she said. “More and more are coming. It’s incredible how it’s changed. Now we’re getting known.”
Tickets are $5 for students and $8 for adults and are available at the school and at the Killeen ISD Administration Building at 200 N. W.S. Young Drive. The public may pick up tickets from 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. today at the administration building.