Tailgate season is back at Lanier

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Joey Graham

Lanier students gather for a photo at the first home football game of the year

When a student at Lanier high School says, “Meet in the student parking lot at 5:45,” the day of any sporting event, you know that it is in your best interest to show up. Meeting in the student parking lot always signifies a tailgate, and a tailgate doesn’t just mean sitting in the trunk of your car watching your feet swing above the asphalt. Instead, it entails a long list of spirited activities that allow students from all different demographics to come together and support their school’s athletes. Unfortunately, the idea of an inclusive tailgate environment has tumbled down the list of priorities, especially since the tragedy of Covid-19. As many are aware, Corona completely stripped everyone of their lifestyle, and with that being said, it also stripped “The Herd” of their strength and unity. Therefore, the Herd’s main goal this year is to “Reunite the Ranch,” and that starts with tailgates because tailgates are where the division of at the Ranch is most evident. In past years, tailgates have been primarily for seniors and upperclassmen, excluding the underclassmen. However, this year’s tailgates have been directed towards all Lanier High School students.
Joey Graham, the Executive Herd Leader, poses a great example of the level of passion the Herd needs to exhibit, and he had a lot to say regarding tailgates: “With the tailgates, my goal is to provide a fun and family-like atmosphere for students to hang out at before the game. Everyone is welcome at the tailgates, Freshmen through Seniors. . . Adding more events, like a spikeball tournament, free pizza, and cornhole, for the tailgate, I hope makes everyone feel welcome and brings a community/family sense to the Herd.”
The Longhorns believe that a tailgate at Lanier High School should be a surreal experience that actively attracts students to the stands. Their intentions were most definitely visible in their tailgate before the Mountain View game on September 3, 2021. Apart from other years, they had cornhole and Spikeball tournaments going, along with tables of free food and snacks. Leaders of the Herd also provided paint, glitter, eye black, and other materials that students could use to match the “black-out” theme. The Spikeball tournament was taken so seriously that sunglasses were actually awarded to the winners, Conner Marcantel and Garrett Ladd. The event had a great turnout, and a large parade, made up of all grades, marched from the student parking lot to the field, showing the strength and excitement of Lanier’s student section. The current and upcoming ideas for tailgate are all ways to encourage freshmen, sophomores, juniors, and, of course, seniors to show up to school events prepared to get loud!