Niles High hosts Fall Sports Pep Rally

Published 12:30 pm Monday, August 21, 2023

NILES — Fans packed the Viking Stadium stands Sunday evening to usher in another school year with athletes from every fall sport.

Niles High School hosted its inaugural Fall Sports Pep Rally. Organized by the Niles High School Student Council, the event featured performances by the Niles High School Marching Band and cheerleader and included Fall 2023 sports team introductions, games and more.

“Student Council, thank you for putting this on,” said Niles Athletic Director Matt Brawley. “What a great idea; this is all student council and Dustin Cornelius, so a round of applause to them.”

The event gave a shout-out to 2004 Niles graduate and Niles assistant football coach Lonnie Jones for his accomplishments on the field.

“We’re here for our football guys over here,” Jones said. “The dedication and commitment the guys put in over the summer has been unbelievable. Just being able to coach and give back to the community a little bit has been a pleasure. The coaches taught me a lot. Friday night is a big game for us, so I look forward to everyone coming out to give us support.”

Niles teacher Dustin Cornelius coached the crowd through a variety of chants to prepare them for the upcoming season. Niles Football coach Scot Shaw enjoyed the event and was happy to see the community come together in support of the fall sports teams.

“This is great,” Shaw said. “There’s a lot of people here and hopefully it’s for all the sports in the field and the field and everything. It’s something that brings the community together and gives them a sense of commonality. Since I’ve been in Niles there’s been a great following of support.”

The football team will play for the first time on their new turf field at 7 p.m. Friday in its home opener against St. Joseph. The Vikings are hoping to christen their new field with a win as many around the program are optimistic about this year’s team.

“I’m really excited for this year’s group. We’re excited,” Shaw said. “It’s not a make or break game for either team because you’ve got a lot of football to play afterwards. We’re approaching it as an important opener as all openers are. Our goal all winter has been to win the opener, win the conference and then you know make a run into the playoffs. We’ve got to get the first goal down, first.”