Last Hometown Rivalry Game, One To Remember

Melissa Estrada, Section Editor

On Oct. 21, the class of 2017 witnessed Downey take on their hometown rival, Warren, for the last time in their high school experience on Viking territory. The stadium was packed with students eager to cheer and show their support for Downey by wearing Viking attire and painting their faces cardinal and gold.

Seniors, Marc Gepigon, Eduardo Bayardo, Andrew Bilodeau, Joseph Lee, Alan Ramirez, Byron Merlos, and Joshua Choi, decided to go the extra mile to show their Viking pride for their last Downey vs. Warren game. Out of the thousands of students, these boys stood out by painting their bodies in red, each with a white letter, spelling out “VIKINGS.”

Alan Ramirez, 12, explains why the group came up with the idea and why he decided to participate.

“It’s my last year. I’m just going to make it count and have fun with each and every single one of them,” Ramirez stated. “We’re going to be able to look back and be glad that we did it with our friends.”

Painting their bodies in red evoked various reactions from the students and staff.

Marc Gepigon, 12, states why it caught the attention of many and how sharing this experience with his friends was unforgettable.

“We shocked quite a lot of people who thought we weren’t going to go through with it,” Gepigon said. “Standing out in the crowd with some of my closest friends was great; we came out together and stood out as one.”

Not new to the spotlight, senior, Eduardo Bayardo, is known for previously painting his entire body pink during Breast Cancer Awareness games; however, the hometown rivalry game was a different experience for him.

“I painted my face and my body for previous games, pink occasions,” Bayardo said. “I dressed up for spirit week but this is my greatest memory so far.”

These boys explain that they were inspired to help lead the crowd in Viking Nation in order to motivate the football players and create a high-spirited environment. They are not afraid of standing out and leading the student section in cheers and chants.

“It was a great end to our four years,” Ramirez stated. “We have other things planned for the next games.”

They assure the student body that this will not be the last time they show their school spirit in outgoing ways and hope to have started a tradition for future seniors.