Friday night’s crisp, fall weather was perfect for a football match-up between cross-town rivals and .
Although the annual matching of these two teams gave Woodbury home advantage this year, a spirit of community was present throughout the evening.
Spectators were greeted at the gate by cheers led by the cheerleading squads of both the East Ridge Raptors and the Woodbury Royals.
As a joint effort, the cheerleaders were collecting coats for the Salvation Army’s Coats for Kids drive.
According to Tami Stauffacher, head coach for Woodbury’s competition squad, cheerleaders from both schools included those from football, soccer, and hockey’s varsity and junior varsity squads.
“Tonight, it’s exciting to bring the community of Woodbury together to truly unite,” Stauffacher said. “We’re so happy, because we did this last year, and collected two garbage bags of coats. Tonight, we’ve already collected over six bags.”
Fans continued to pour into the field to drop coats into two large barrels decorated and flanked by the mutual squads.
East Ridge Cheer Coach Cindy Lambert said that each of her athletes brought a donation to the game.
“Last Sunday, a group of the girls got together to make scarves to donate—heart-shaped chain-style scarves for girls and wide, masculine scarves for boys,” she said.
Lambert said that she wants the cheerleaders to be leaders in the community and to share what they have to help those in need.
Freshman varsity cheerleader Kenzie Beck said she was proud of the efforts Friday evening.
“This is a good way for the community to give back to the less fortunate,” she said.
Earlier on Friday, the Woodbury Dance Team held their annual Little Royals Dance Clinic. The event, which has become an annual tradition, invites the public to sign up young dancers, ages 5-13, from within the community.
Approximately 60 girls learned a dance taught by the Woodbury High School dance team. The girls and their high school counterparts performed in front of the packed stands.
The bleachers on both sides of the field appeared to be standing room only. Occasionally, students dressed in all blue, or white and gold, ran across the walkway in front of the stands, to the delight of their respective Woodbury or East Ridge fans.
In addition to the Royals Dance Team, halftime included a performance by the Woodbury High School marching band, as well as an exhibition by several flag football teams. These teams were made up of first and second-grade boys from the community.
At the end of the evening, Woodbury came out on top in its double-overtime win.
East Ridge senior, Audrey Feltz, put it best.
“I think about everyone in Woodbury would agree with me that, win or lose, the Raptors-Royals rivalry makes for the best game of the season,” she said. “All of Woodbury gets to hang out together on a Friday night—it doesn’t get much better than that.”