By Caroline Barry
“Let’s go blue!” chanted students, cheerleaders and the marching band in unison. Royal blue and white hats, scarves and jackets kept the crowd of Blue Devil fans warm during the New Jersey, Section 2, Group 5 state championship game at MetLife Stadium on Dec. 3.
The buzzing excitement was evident as parking lots filled and eager fans lined up for entry. Students were not the only supporters to line up for the game that chilly night as WHS teachers and administrators were seen cheering on the team, blending in with the crowd of blue and white.
Blue Devil fans outnumbered Bridgewater in both attendance and energy. Said junior drum major Michael Hauge, “I was very surprised by the number of people who showed up to the game, and I really liked the crowd's enthusiasm.”
The championship was especially exciting for the seniors who made up the majority of the fans. “I feel like when you’re a senior your school spirit quadruples,” said senior Julia Simpson. “Who else gets to do this? Who else gets to see their high school team in MetLife Stadium?”
At halftime, the WHS marching band, which played at MetLife Stadium last year for its own competition, offered a peppy soundtrack of fan-favorite Mark Ronson’s “Uptown Funk” and the classic WHS fight song.
“It was awesome to be able to follow the football team through their undefeated season,” said senior drum major Albert Chen. “It was interesting seeing the school’s spirit grow as the team got more successful.”
Meanwhile, the WHS cheerleading team entertained the crowd with an energetic and spirited routine. Said senior captain Samantha Smith: “[It] was the end of my cheerleading career and MetLife was an unbelievable climax. I am so grateful that I cheer for a team of boys that granted us this opportunity. To lead these girls at a MetLife states game was a blessing, to say the least.”
With Westfield occupying several sections of the enormous stadium, roaring cheers filled the stadium as the clock hit zero. The final score of 10–7 sent the crowd into a frenzy of cheers, the perfect example of Westfield spirit.
Of the overall support and sense of pride, Smith said: “I think that the opportunity to see these boys get to play at MetLife truly brought our community together. I never lost faith that they would leave that stadium with anything less than a victory.”