From Staff Reports
For the last six years, local radio station 106.9 The Ranch has thrown high school football and school spirit into a major frenzy. An idea arose one day to see just how spirited a school could become if a really big incentive was put in front of them. The ideas grew into one of the fiercest competitions between every school in The Ranch’s listening area.
A competition that has pitted the smallest schools against the biggest schools on a level playing field, it has become a monster.
Sept. 6 - Friday Night Lights
The Ranch's Friday Night Light's patrol wil be at Tiger Stadium prior to Corsicana's home game with Red Oak. The show will then shift south to Mildred's Asby Field, for halftime of the Eagles' home opener with Centerville. 106.9 The Ranch is broadcasting tonight's game from Mildred.
Schools are asked to come together. Cheerleaders, football teams, the band, FFA programs, and anyone else within the walls of the school to, not only show the best school spirit but, show spirit for the only radio station that plays the highly-popular Texas Music that the kiddos can’t seem to get enough of.
“It’s awesome to see an entire school come together for a common goal, especially the kids that are not involved in any extra stuff like sports or anything, It brings the whole school together,” said Jim Nash, one half of the award-winning Mornin’ Fiasco.
“There is nothing like walking into a game on Friday night and seeing all the kids and their families together to show the spirit that they share for their school and team. And when you see that spirit directed toward a radio station that you work so hard to get out there, it’s unreal,” said Carey Dean, the other half of the Mornin’ Fiasco.
By now you are probably wondering about the incentive that has been the carrot for the schools and why they all try so hard to win. That is the cool thing about the reason for all of the scrambling. The school that shows the most spirit for their school and The Ranch gets a private concert from a major artist in the Texas Music scene and the bragging rights for the next year as the winner of The Friday Night Lights.
Artist that have performed in years past have included The Eli Young Band, Casey Donahue, Deryl Dodd, The Kyle Bennett Band, Hudson Moore and Johnny Cooper. This year the artist will be Brandon Rhyder. Rhyder’s last release was the wildly popular “Live at Billy Bob’s.” Brandon is one of top artist that Ranch listeners are always happy to hear and his single releases are always chart toppers.
“We have seen some unbelievable stuff happen during Friday night Lights,” said Delaney Tenpenny, The Ranch’s promotions director.
Tenpenny said that she was blown away when she rounded the corner in Blooming Grove last year to see that they were about to be ushered into the ballgame by students on horseback.
Nick Jordan, the station’s GM and also one of the voices, along with Tim Samuels, for the station’s broadcast of The Ranch’s Game of the Week, loves the spirit of the competition.
“These schools have an opportunity to create some exciting memories and friendships win or not. It’s a thrill to watch,” Jordan said.
This year Mildred is driving hard to be out in front. Students have made it to the studio on Main Street at least twice a day all week and have The Ranch’s studio looking like a gym during homecoming. That includes a chalk covered sidewalk and posters everywhere. Nash and Carey Dean both enjoy the snacks, and a couple of years ago they both gained 15 pounds during the season.
The Ranch’s Friday Night Lights is a very successful promotion and the area schools all have a great time with it.
Area schools are encouraged to keep their spirits up, and who knows, Carey Dean said, you may be the next winner and have Brandon Rhyder play for your school.