Return of the Stampede


Photo by Andrii Lievientsov on Unsplash

John Williams, Staff Writer

The stench of hot dogs lingers as Miramonte students hang out around the quad in anticipation of the Mats’ first football game. Students chant and rally, while coaches command their troops on the battlefield below. This is football season!

The Leadership class will be hosting a tailgate on Aug. 27 prior to the Mats first football game against Piedmont High School, complete with games, food, music, merchandise, and prizes. With clothing and accessories from the pop-up stand, the Mats can get students the swag they need to represent our school. The tailgate will run from 4:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m., with the game starting at 7:00 p.m. New principal Ben Campopiano will be at the tailgate to greet and talk with students and parents. “I’m so excited to start off Mats football with the first ever tailgate! I finally get to have an experience of tailgating like I’m at a Cal football game,” Leadership student Kyle Odmark ‘23 said. 

To raise the Matador Stampede enthusiasm, there is a rally during school before the Piedmont football game. Spirit week will be full in effect leading up to the rally. The theme being Olympics, Mats will wear specific attire each day to show off their spirit. Each year, new rally leaders from leadership are chosen to show what these rallies are all about. The class of 22 rally leaders get to hype up the school and lead them into the Friday gameday. All the students pile into the main gym, during an extended lunch. The rally leaders go through circuits of challenges, games, and cheers that each of the classes participates in. The Friday rallies contain a journey to obtain the sacred Spirit Cup. Only the most spirited and exciting school will win this Cup. After the rallies, the Mats Stampede is willing to give the most psyche and thrill to a student section.

COVID-19 restrictions prevented students from attending home games in the 2020-2021 football season, with students last attending a home game a full 24 months ago. The game will be the first for sophomores and freshmen as students and many eagerly await the opportunity to watch their Matadors. “I’m excited to finally be able to attend football games in the students section this year. I haven’t fully experienced the spirit our students bring to the games, and I’m ready to be surrounded by the energy and fellow Matadors while cheering on our team,” Bowen Sande ‘24 said.

Not only are the fans excited, but the players are eager to play in front of their classmates and family. “I’m looking forward to being the role model that Miramonte football players were to me when I was younger. It’s going to be a great environment for students, players, and fans,” wide receiver Jimmy Foster ‘23 said.

This year is a redemption year for the Mats. After finishing last season with a disappointing 1-4 record, the Mats are ready to make a statement. “We brought a ton of focus, effort, and attitude to  our summer workouts. Those characteristics showed by winning a 7 on 7 tournament in Lake Tahoe. Our players want to get better and work harder everyday,” Foster said.  

As the Friday Night Lights finally return, fans once craving excitement can now start to expect a sense of normalcy to football games. With tailgates, packed stadiums, bands playing, and the beloved snack shack, football season is back in full force!