Jason Holtman, Kyle Holtman and Andrea Gonzalez, seniors, are experiencing the challenges, changes and pride that leading the 2011 Grill Team brings.
The three leaders, carrying on the tradition that started with the class of 2008, faced difficulties as they worked to get this year’s Grill Team off and running. “We actually though it wasn’t going to happen this year,” said Jason Holtman. “We couldn’t find enough dedicated people to run Grill Team.” Luckily, the leaders found a few more seniors who were willing to take on the responsibility of helping Leesville students “pre-game hard.”
The leaders have also had trouble finding the money needed to cover the cost of food and drinks. “A lot of people think we’re making money off of Grill Team, which isn’t the case at all,” said Kyle Holtman. “We don’t even sell enough burgers to break even, and most of our funds come out of Andrea’s pocket. People just aren’t buying as much food this year, so we’re losing money.”
The 2011 Grill Team is running much the same as it has in years’ past, but the Holtmans noticed a large difference between leading the team versus simply being a member. “You can’t just show up,” said Jason Holtman. “You have to make an effort and be committed.”
Leading the Grill Team also requires the confidence to lead the entire student section in cheers – and sometimes to yell at underclassmen for not cheering.
“One of our biggest problems is getting sophomores and freshmen to cheer,” said Jason Holtman. “They want to just stand there and socialize, but they need to realize that we’re here to support the football team.” In one of the Facebook messages that the leaders send out to inform Grill Team members about the games each week, Kyle Holtman urged everyone to cheer, saying, “Don’t worry, I’ll have you guys losing your voices every game by the end of the year.”
Despite problems and difficulties they have had to face, the Grill Team officers are loving their new found responsibilities.
“It’s a great tradition, and fun, no matter how good the football team is. I hope it stays with Leesville, even after we’re gone,” said Jason Holtman. “We just need to get everyone to stand up and raise their voices.”