Let’s get a little bit rowdy, R-O-W-D-Y. As the cheerleaders belted their song, the US Army welcomed four Heritage students to its bowl game family. Seniors Tarvarus McFadden and Torrance Gibson were selected to play in the US Army All-American Bowl Jan. 3 at the Alamodome in San Antonio, following in the footsteps of 2014 Army Bowl alumnus and Heritage graduate Sony Michel. Seniors Isabella Quiros and Alyssa Scriver were invited to perform with the All-American Marching Band, whose former invitees have gone on to perform with National Championship-winning bands. With only 233 seniors invited to take part in the event, Heritage’s four students make up the largest group in the nation.
The ceremony began with the band welcoming more than 200 students into the auditorium, following with a performance by the Varsity Cheerleaders and ending with a singing of the national anthem by chorus students. Then, one by one, the invited students received their band hats and football jerseys and gave speeches to their fellow classmates.
There were laughs when Scriver described her time on the marching band, cheers when McFadden signaled the FSU Seminoles sign, and tears when Gibson thanked and hugged his mother. All in all, the students relished the one in a lifetime opportunity.
“It’s really exciting to bring all of this to the band. We all work so hard. It’s rewarding in every way,” Quiros said.
Following the student’s speeches, representatives from the Army presented football coach Mike Rumph with his second consecutive coaching invitation to the game and Principal Mrs. Elise Blum with a plaque for the school.
“It’s pretty amazing statistic-wise. I’m very pleased the football team and band were all here to enjoy this together. I hope this gives them the confidence to continue taking these opportunities,” Mrs. Blum said.
The event ran smoothly and the honored students are now eagerly awaiting their trip to San Antonio.
“Tarvurus and I have been friends for a long time so it will be great to have one last high school football game together,” Gibson said.
“This is a great spotlight for [Gibson and McFadden]. This mid-season boost will make them press on hopefully to another state championship,” Rumph said.
Meanwhile, the band members cheered as Quiros and Scriver stood together for photos. “I don’t think there could be more deserving young ladies than these two,” band teacher Mrs. Isabelle Antoine said, who also accepted a plaque from the Army.
Accepting the great honor, the four students proudly represented Heritage. Look for them when they take to the Alamodome in January.