By ELISE McKEOWN SKOLNICK
The Fitch Falcons kicked off the football season with a Community Tailgate Aug. 2.
The cheerleaders and football players were introduced as the crowd cheered and clapped. Last to be introduced were this year’s senior football players.
“This is a really good group of young men,” said head coach Phil Annarella.
He noted that 11 of the 30 are in National Honor Society and one is a class valedictorian.
“That’s pretty good,” Annarella said.
The captains of the team, Ryan Sayers and Tony Behanna, took the opportunity to thank the team’s families and fans who support them.
“We really appreciate everything you do for us,” Sayers said. “It never goes unnoticed. Through thick and thin you guys are always there for us and we really appreciate it.
Seeing their families in the stands “makes all of us want to play harder,” he said.
The cheerleaders were ready to do their part. They have been practicing and just returned from cheer camp.
“I’m pumped, can’t wait,” said Ceazia Redding, a junior varsity cheerleader. “Go Falcons!”
The football players threw small footballs into the crowd and the cheerleaders passed out miniature megaphones.
Tim Gay of Austintown brought his daughters, Brianna and Brooklyn, to cheer on their brother, Tim, a freshman football player.
Also, Gay said, Brianna and Brooklyn are cheerleaders.
“We’re here watching the cheerleaders so they can get some pointers,” he said.
Brianna, holding a small megaphone, said she’d like to be a Fitch cheerleader someday. Brooklyn said she likes seeing her brother on the football field.
The family will make it to as many games as they can, Tim said.
The event also included a bounce around, dunk-a-player, games, a photo booth and food.