April 27th, 2017

Tigers, Rocks primed for Pink and White halftime show

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Paul Najjar

Senior Writer

Tigers, Rocks primed for Pink and White halftime show
The Trinity boys dance team with the SHA team for Pink and White / cover: the St. X dance team with their choreographers from Assumption / photos courtesy Trinity and St. Xavier

The annual Pink and White game brings out the best in rivals Assumption, Sacred Heart, St. Xavier and Trinty. And it’s all for the benefit of the Norton Cancer Institute’s Breast Health Program.

This event is traditionally one of the best of the sporting calendar. Though it isn’t an officially sanctioned sport, the flag football game between rivals Assumption and Sacred Heart brings out the best in these student-athletes. And a sold-out crowd to watch it.

To date, this game has raised over $200,000 for the Norton Cancer Institute’s Breast Health Program. In a powerful pre-game ceremony, players escort breast cancer survivors onto the field to be recognized.

The Rockets and Valkyries cull their sports teams for tryouts and once the teams are selected they practice for three-plus months to ensure they’re ready to win.

But we can’t forget the halftime entertainment. Just as the dance teams from the girl’s schools perform at halftime of the St. X-Trinity football game, the boys from St. X back Assumption and the boys from Trinity align with Sacred Heart and each perform a raucous dance routine at haltime.

It’s a highlight of senior year for all involved.

“We’re all out here with our brothers and it’s one of the best things about senior year,” St. X football-player-turned-dancer Graham Summers said. “You’ve got to live every moment you can with your brothers and we’re all really excited for Friday night.”

The Tigers dance team includes about 90 young men who played a variety of sports. It’s the biggest dance squad ever put on the field. And managing those 90 guys were a group of five championship-winning dancers from Assumption as well as former St. X head football coach Mike Glaser.

“These guys are picking up things little by little and they’re having fun with it,” Assumption dance team member and one of the coaches of the St. X dance team Hannah Hoerlein said. “But they know how to be good teammates to each other and they trust each other doing the stunts.”

Not to be outdone is the Trinity squad, a group of about 35 who have been working on their routine for a couple of months.

“There are a few experiences throughout senior year that we all think about and this is definitely at the top of the list,” Trinity state champion football player Baron Hoffman said. “There aren’t many times throughout the year that you get together with your brothers and go dance in front of 5,000 people. We look forward to this throughout the year.”

These guys have some serious moves, though. Just ask.

“My go-to move has to be the Shimmy, but I’m good at the splits and doing the Dougie,” Hoffman said.

The Rocks dance team is coached by a trio of Sacred Heart dancers McKenna Schrage, Katie Priest and Christian Davis.

“We all choreographed the dance and seeing the guys really get into it and understand what it’s like to be a dancer was really fun,” Schrage said. “Getting them to listen was tough at times, but I look forward to seeing them have fun.”

St. X’s big squad has several big maneuvers and the guys are up for the challenge.

“I’ve played in the St. X-Trinity game and I wasn’t nearly as nervous as I am now or will be Friday night,” Tigers dancer Mack Blincoe said. “We’re going to perform to win.”

Though there is no winner in the dance contest, bragging rights are all these guys need. And want.

“It’s been a super-fun experience for all of us,” St. X team member Brewer Cahalan said. “It’s one of the best experiences we’ve had in our four years and it’s all for a great cause. I look forward to nailing the routine and besting Trinity, as usual.”

Blincoe and Cahalan were the self-proclaimed top two dancers on the St. X squad. They’ll need that confidence to perform on the big stage.

“We’re a dynamic duo; like peanut butter and jelly,” Cahalan said. “I rock the Sprinkler pretty well and then move that into a mosh-pit type of thing.”

While the guys won’t be judged in a Dancing With the Stars type of setting, the fans and social media will have the final say on a “winner.”

“My move is ‘hit the quan’ and I do that at the end, but I can rock the grocery cart too,” Trinity soccer player Luke Williams said. “To do this in front of thousands of people and for this great cause is a once in a lifetime opportunity.”

Many of those participating in the game, as dancers and even the choreographers have someone dear to them or a family member who has been stricken by the disease.

“It’s great to see them do it right and realize they did it right,” Sacred Heart dance team member and Trinity co-choreographer Katie Priest said. “It’s a win for us when we see that.”

The dance choreographers from both teams are serious about getting their respective squads to put on a great show. But, they also know how important a cause it is.

“It’s a great way for us to contribute to the Pink and White game,” Priest said. “We don’t get to play, but we do our part to make it fun for this cause.”

“It’s an amazing thing we get to do to raise money for breast cancer,” Schrage said. “We want everyone who is struggling with the disease to know that we’re supporting them through all of our efforts.”

Pre-game ceremonies for the sold-out Pink and White game begin at 7:00 p.m. Kickoff is at 7:30 p.m. at St. Xavier’s Brother Thomas More Stadium. Louisville Catholic Sports will have game coverage, photos and video on our Facebook page and on Twitter @LouCathSports. 


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