While you are jumping and cheering for the football team, the Lake Ridge flag runners are sprinting their way across the field. Face paint and sweat can’t hold them back as they run with their flags energizing the crowd. The flag runners are not out there just because they like to run however. Getting the football players and the fans excited is a major part of what they do. George Hernandez, Flag Runners Coordinator, believes the runners help keep the energy up at the games.
“We are out there to support the team and also the fans, we like to celebrate so when the team scores we run across,” said Hernandez.
It’s not just about running the flags. Austin Ward, junior flag runner, believes you grow as a person while being a flag runner.
“You learn about having good character and representing Lake Ridge well,” Ward said.
Flag running has also brought students together and has formed friendships. Students from different backgrounds are coming together to be a part of a team. Aaron Cupps, senior flag runner, appreciates the chance to meet new people because of flag running.
“A lot of us are from different grades and classes, so we don’t colaborate in the halls. I believe we have an opportunity to meet other people, grow closer with them, and become more a part of the school,” said Cupps.
At football games the energy in the stands is always changing. Every time Lake Ridge scores the student section and the crowd go crazy. It’s the flag runners job to keep the fans hyped up.
“We have to cheer up the crowd at the game, we are just as important as the cheerleaders. It’s an essential part of a football game, it gets the crowd going after another score,” stated Ward.
There are benefits to being a flag runner. Access to the field helps you have a better connection with the games. When you are a step away from the game you experience it on another level.
“As a flag runner you get to be more in the game, I like that I’m closer to the game because I’m out on the field,” said Cupps.
It’s not all business with the runners however as they like to play a classic childhood game together. It’s a fun way to practice running and bond with another. Alessandra Rosalez, junior flag runner, enjoys the time spent before the games.
“We have preparations but we mostly mess around before the game. We play cards games but we really like to play tag, it’s kind of our thing. We play it everywhere we go,” said Rosalez.
Even though only upper class-men can participate, Mr. Hernandez hopes to keep flag running going for more years to come. It’s another way to be a part of Lake Ridge, become a better person, and also get more exercise.