The Battle of Chester – L.C. Bird VS Thomas Dale


As Thomas Dale prepares for the Big Battle of Chester with spirit week, ticket sales, pull up competitions, and mini pep rallies at lunch are getting students into the school spirit. Our journalism team decided to really get into the heads of the people behind the scene to get a feel for what it was like for them and their preparation for the game.

 On our first stop we talked to a few of our football players who seemed to have absolutely no concerns about losing. I talked to CJ Milazzo, Phillip Knight, and Zaquan Wallace. In the interview, they told me how they prepared by practicing all week and watching over old tapes and clips from previous games. Once we began asking about nerves, or if anyone’s nervous, Phillip Knight #10 responded with “I don’t have any worries, I have faith in my team.” while Zaquan Wallace #7 follows up with “Just another win.” 

As our interviews went on, everyone said the same thing. They weren’t nervous and they knew they had the win without a doubt. Just when we thought our interviews were over, we got the chance to talk to Deondre Manning #31, and he had other things to say. Unlike his other teammates he had missed a few days of practice and was actually nervous about playing, but beside his nerves, he never led us to believe his team wouldn’t pull through and win. During the interview, we asked what his worries were, and he told us: “To be honest, I kind of worry about myself and then the extra team point. Really myself. Not getting to the ball on time.” Even with the worries of his own mistakes he knew he had his team to fall back on.

 Later on that day, we had the chance to talk to the junior varsity and varsity cheer team. Their enthusiasm and eagerness to go out there and support their team was refreshing. We talked to Emma Zeh and Hannah Burton on the junior varsity cheer team. As Hannah and Emma started their interview, you could see the excitement on their faces. They tell us the reason they were so eager to start the game was because they never really got the season they wanted because of Covid, and how nice it is to get to experience the bigger crowds again.

Afterwards, we talked to two of our senior cheerleaders, Amara Thompson and Amaris Lopez, on the varsity team. We ask them what they were excited about, and Amara Thompson tells us: “Fan show out, I feel like we have a really big, and it’s gonna carry some really good energy” and you could feel their excitement. Their energy was bouncing off the walls. Just from them talking you could tell they were ready to be out there. At the end of the interview, they tell us of the huge party they’re having in the auxiliary gym after they win, and I can only imagine how fun it was.

On our last interview, we got to talk to Mrs. Miles, the coach for all cheer teams. In her interview, she begins by saying just how happy she is that her teams are finally getting the chance to be there and experience cheering in front of a bigger crowd again. Especially after her seniors last year couldn’t. This year she tells us that she only has three seniors on the team and she’ll give them all she can before they leave. Just in her tone we knew just how proud she was of her team and how happy she was that they were back.

Even though the Thomas Dale football season is still in the beginning, they have done a great job defeating their opponents. Back when Dale played Cosby High School, they got a solid win with a score of 32-0. As well as winning 26-7 against their long time rival L.C. Bird! Thomas Dale is also ranked #24 in the state of Virginia, which is pretty impressive.