By Elsie Morrow
Ever wonder about the difference between a CBHS and MUS football game? Read more here to learn about all the traditions, cheers, and stories of people who go to these games and how they can help you pick a side on your Friday nights.
A special thanks to Barbara Pletcher Photography and Gerald Gallik Photography for lending Tatler photos of Christian Brothers High School and Memphis University School .
If you ever find yourself bored on a Friday night in the fall, you’re in luck: there is more than likely a high school football game to entertain you for the night. Though sometimes daunting, Friday night football games are a great place to see friends from different schools, watch a good game, and, of course, meet new people. But, how is one to know which game to attend? The majority of St. Mary’s girls that attend football games typically go to either Memphis University School or Christian Brothers High School games, and since both teams are arguably equal in skill, the choice lies in the student section environment that you enjoy best.
Christian Brothers High School takes their sports very seriously. At 6:55 p.m., five minutes before hundreds of students flood the stands, the “Brothers Walk” takes place, a historic CBHS tradition where all of the Christian Brothers students walk onto the field and cheer on the football team as they enter Tom Nix Stadium.
When asked why the students partake in the “Brothers Walk,” Christian Brother’s Student Council President Chris Beals says, “when we go out there on Friday night as either a fan or a player, we want our brothers to know that we are cheering them on and are always there for them.”
Additionally, the CBHS band, one of the oldest high school bands in the country, is known to be one of the best. Nearly every fan sings along as the band pumps up the crowd before and during a game.
Sabrina Spence (12) says, “The CBHS band livens up the football game and makes the student section even more energetic and unified, and it adds a lot to the experience.”
The games also feature a CBHS “stage,” which is basically a board that students hold where students stand and fire up the whole crowd by dancing, doing push ups, or yelling at people to keep cheering. There is even an annually elected position of “yell leader,” a job that entails exactly what its title states.
Mallory Macdonald (12) says, that an SMS girl can include herself in the game by, “wearing buttons with a picture of a player or cheerleader, participating in the brother’s walk, and dressing up for the theme.”
MUS also takes football and its respective traditions very seriously. Most notably, MUS holds the tradition of fans lining the locker room to make a tunnel for the players to walk through both at the beginning of the game and at halftime. And kickoff is, of course, signified with the whole student section raising the acclaimed “U” hand sign.
“Everybody really knows each other so there's a lot of connection within the student section along with all the guys on the field. I'd say that we are all owls in school, and we all become buzzards for the game,” says MUS Commissioner of Student Welfare, Will Murrah ‘18, referring to MUS’s unique characteristic of having two mascots: the owl, an academic mascot, and the buzzard, an athletic mascot.
As the games go on, flags wave in the air, and fans cheer alongside the cheerleaders. And, similar to the CBHS yell leader, an MUS flagbearer gets everyone in the stadium, students and parents alike, pumped up for the action.
MUS cheerleader Annie Leatherman (11) says, “I love to see the boys let the girls wave the MUS flags and lead the chants. It shows that the MUS boys are not just ‘getting into’ the games but really want the girls to be just as involved!”
Martha Kay Williams (12), a member of the 2017 MUS Homecoming Court, adds, “St. Mary’s girls get involved in the the MUS games by dressing up for the fun theme and cheering with all the boys.”
Additionally, after the Aug. 25 game against Kingsbury, MUS hosted one of their infamous victory dances: a post-game activity commonly planned when a victory in the football game is probable. Even if someone is new to the scene of MUS games, Murrah says, “they would have a good time whether or not they are really interested in football. There will always be a good showing by our team on the field, but the social scene of the games is great too.”
While differing in their traditions and atmosphere, both MUS and CBHS games offer very similar experiences: an opportunity to meet new friends, a chance to raise team spirit, and a moment to glimpse into the lives of the students at the respective schools. Whether you are chanting with the brothers at Tom Nix or “raising the U” at Stokes Stadium, you are destined to have a great time underneath those Friday night lights.