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At the request of Athletic Director and Head Coach JC Ramirez, it will be all business with no big pep rally leading up to Friday’s fourth-round playoff game between Corpus Christi Miller and Brownsville Veterans Memorial.
That said, the Charger booster club, is helping the Brownsville Independent School District, city and team get ready for December football.
Kickoff for the Region IV-5A championship game between the Chargers (11-2) and Buccaneers (13-0) is set for 7 p.m. Friday at Sams Memorial Stadium in Brownsville.
Bleachers have been added to the Jefferson Street end of Sams Stadium, bringing it to nearly 11,000 seats including standing room, all of which have been sold, BISD officials said.
The Charger booster club has been busy all week decorating palm trees along Palm Boulevard and on Jefferson Street near the stadium entrance with red, white and blue ribbons and bows.
“We’ve been out purchasing decorations and getting moms and grandmas together,” booster club president Lizette Rosales said Wednesday afternoon as she and a group of boosters finished wrapping a palm tree along Jefferson next to the stadium in red, white and blue.
“Then we’re going up inside the stadium and put red, white and blue everywhere. We’ve got bows. We’ve got streamers we’ve got all these things we’re gonna put up,” she said.
BISD Athletic Director Gilbert Leal relished the prospect of a Brownsville team playing a fourth-round playoff game in December at Sams.
“It’s a great honor. I coached for over 25 years. I had eight personal opportunities as a coach to punch a ticket to the fourth round and never did it, so to be a part of it here in Brownsville is very special to me personally,” he said.
“To be under the stage and work on the back of this has been physically and mentally exhausting. We have an incredible staff. The excitement is there, the energy is there. Everybody is running on pure adrenaline from our stadium staff to our maintenance to everybody, administration included, to make sure we provide our student athletes the best opportunity for a magical night,” Leal said Thursday morning.
The Chargers made history a week ago when they beat state-ranked PSJA North, to join the ranks of only a handful of Rio Grande Valley football teams to reach the fourth round of the Texas high school football playoffs.
The Chargers also became the first team in Brownsville-area history to reach Round 4 with their victory.
The 11,000 spectators that will converge on West Fourth and Jefferson compares to 1,200 to 1,500 for a regular season game, BISD Police Chief Oscar Garcia said. Obviously, traffic will be an issue, as will parking.
There are about 200 parking spaces in the regular Sams lot, plus handicapped parking. In addition, there are about 160 spaces in the new lot on West Elizabeth behind the stadium. The rest is in the neighborhoods around the stadium.
BISD policy allows only a small clutch purse into the stadium, no backpacks, larger purses, camera cases, fanny packs or binocular cases allowed. Metal detectors will be in operation.
Meanwhile, the Brownsville ISD Invitational basketball tournament for both boys and girls takes place this weekend with games going on at all six high schools starting Thursday.
Games involving Veterans Memorial students are being scheduled earlier in the day Friday “so those students can come over here and be part of this experience,” Leal said.
The BISD bus fleet has been decked out in red, white and blue in honor of the game.