Celebrating School Spirit


With long-time supporter and Bakersfield College alumnus Peter Reyes carrying the BC banner, the Renegades take the field for their homecoming game against Cerritos College.

Patricia Rocha, Reporter

This year’s movie-themed homecoming was filled with lots of the traditional school spirit. A week full of club participation began the festivities that eventually led up to the football game against the Cerritos College Falcons.

Among the festivities was a costume contest for students and teachers, a game of musical chairs put on by the Geology Club, a free popcorn giveaway by the Math Club, and a pep rally.

But aside from the events scheduled in-between class times and the Renegade’s unfortunate losing streak, school spirit was at its highest during what some described as the most enjoyable part of homecoming; the tailgating experience.

Although the air was crisp and chilly that Friday, the atmosphere was warm and friendly.

Cody Pierce, who went to Bakersfield College and has participated in the tailgate for the past five years, said he’d show up at around 7 a.m. and stayed hours after the game is over, feeding as many as 40 to 50 people in his group.

“The atmosphere is all about family. Everybody knows each other, respects each other,” Pierce said.

“I can go to another site and they’ll feed me, just like I’ll feed them. It’s just how it is.”

The theme for this year’s tailgate was superheroes, and for one group of tailgaters, this meant honoring their own type of superhero.

Gabrielle Ortiz spoke about how BC center Dallas LaFond’s “superhero strength” is his courage.

After the passing of his father, Bret LaFond on Sept. 15 from a year-long battle with cancer, LaFond faced this personal challenge with dignity, and continued with his athletic responsibilities for the Sept. 17th game versus Tehachapi, “just as his father would have wanted him to,” Ortiz said.

She was among dozens in her group with matching shirts sporting Bret LaFond’s initials on them.

“Dallas is a family friend and he’s played a lot on the field this season,” she said. “This is my first time [tailgating]. It’s a big deal for our friends and family.”

While many people came out to support the team with their friends and family, some came with their clubs to share in the school spirit.

Chelsea Keith brought her goat “Lucky” with her to be a part of the Agriculture Club’s exhibit.

“It’s been a lot of fun,” she said about participating. “Everyone’s having a nice time. Everyone’s full of food and happy.”

Mario Garcia also came to support his club, but found himself caught up in other aspects of the day too.

“We walked and danced around with the drum line,” he said.

Members of the drum line were happy to participate during the day before their half time show performance.

“It’s just a love for it,” said Mykle Lara about being in the drum line. “Cheering everybody up, it’s awesome.”

Mike Audi agreed, showing his school spirit not only in his playing, but went so far as to wear red colored contacts for the day.

“I’ve seen a lot of people here tonight who are into it. In high school, I didn’t see this kind of spirit,” Audi said. “We have a lot of supporters, fans I guess.”

Among those fans was 11-year-old Blaine Rohatash, who came with his youth football team to cheer on the Renegades.

Rohatash sprinted from his family’s barbecue to offer sodas to some of the players as they packed up their instruments.

“Things like that is what’s awesome about all this,” said Audi about this display of generosity.

The night seemed to be filled with this type of goodwill.

Right before the football game started, the women’s soccer team was selling programs to raise money for a teammate’s medical expenses.

It was announced at halftime the team had managed to sell all of the programs.

Also occurring at halftime was the drum line performance, a routine by the alumni cheerleaders to Bruce Channel’s, “Hey Baby” and the announcing of the winners of Homecoming King and Queen, Matthew Guenther and Jessica Mihm.