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Rising them up early: Cumming First UMC preschoolers hold Super Bowl pep rally

POSTED: February 3, 2017 1:00 a.m.
Kelly Whitmire/

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CUMMING -- You can’t be a lifelong Atlanta Falcons fan if you don’t start early.

On Thursday morning, some of Forsyth County’s tiniest Falcons held a pep rally at the Cumming First United Methodist Church preschool ahead of the team going to its second-ever Super Bowl on Sunday.

Teacher Jeri Ewing said the school had to do something after the Falcons made it to the big game.

“With the big win a couple of weeks ago, it just seemed like it would be the right thing to do,” she said. “I think it’s about a lot more than football; of course, it gets the kids excited, it teaches them a little, tiny bit about the game, which many of them don’t know about.

“But it also brings our school together as a community, and I love that aspect of it.”

Cheers, banners and a lot of Falcons jerseys and gear were on hand to get the kids excited about the game. Teachers Gail Johnson and Pam Trigg even led the kids in doing the Dirty Bird, Jamaal Anderson’s famous touchdown dance.

“All of the kids 4 years old and older learned a cheer for today. So, the older kids performed their cheers,” Ewing said. “The kids came in early today, and everybody got a tattoo or eye black and we made small banners that we set outside in the grass.”

While teachers covered the cheers, the significance of the game and the sport itself to the kids, Ewing said they had to start with the basics.
“A lot of these children, when we started out, didn’t know what a Falcon was,” she said. “So, now they know a Falcon is a bird.”

Another pep rally will be held today, this time featuring Katie Veldhuis, a former Falcons cheerleader who attended the school.

“She was a preschooler [here] to begin with,” Director Juanita Brown said. “She tried out for the Falcons a few years ago and made it, so she cheered with them for a few years.”

Ewing said the rally was “a fun way to have a good time, to come together and just to support our team.”

“It just seems like so many things today that we’re polarized about, but this is something we’re not; everybody is for the Falcons,” Ewing said, before catching herself.

“Almost everybody. We’ve got a few students here whose families are big Patriots fans, and of course we respect that.”

 

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