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Westlake Demons fans invited to kick off new school year with rally

By KEVIN KELLEY

WESTLAKE – The start of a new school year means a new season for student-athletes. The Westlake Demons Athletic Boosters will launch the new athletic season with a pep rally at 6 p.m. Aug. 16 on Lou Duchez Field at University Hospitals St. John Medical Center Stadium.

Dubbed “Demon Nation Spirit Rally,” the inaugural event will celebrate the athletic teams of Westlake High School and Lee Burneson Middle School from the fall, winter and spring sports seasons.

“It’s kind of a kick-off to the whole year,” said Tony Cipollone, the Westlake City Schools athletic director. “Obviously we’re proud of all of our sports teams.”

The rally was conceived by the leadership of the Demons Athletic Boosters.

Gina Redinger, the organization’s president, said the event’s goal is to celebrate the new sports season, build school spirit and have the community come together in support of the district’s teams.

The two-hour, free event, sponsored by North Coast Jaw and Implant Clinic, will feature four food trucks, a dunking booth in which several coaches will sit, and a cornhole tournament.

Members of many teams will have games and other activities set up for younger children to enjoy, Reginger said.

The Athletic Boosters will sell 2017 Demons apparel. The Westlake Music Boosters and Alumni Association will also have tables to promote their activities planned for the 2017-2018 school year.

The Westlake High School Marching Band will perform at 6:45 p.m. Then the Screaming Armadillos, a local rock band consisting of Brent Henry, Devlin Riley, Joe Massa and Westlake Porter Public Library Director Andrew Mangels, will entertain.

Cipollone, the athletic director, said the rally will be a chance for residents to see the new synthetic turf.

“We like to show off our facilities,” Cipollone said. “We think we have some pretty nice ones.”

Installed a year ago, the new turf was manufactured by UBU Sports, which provides surfaces for several NFL and collegiate stadiums. The synthetic turf replaced the grass field, which often grew muddy after heavy rains.

The Westlake Athletic Development Foundation, made up of Westlake High alumni and other parents of Westlake students, raised $650,000 over four years to purchase the artificial turf. That amount included a $300,000 sponsorship deal with University Hospitals St. John Medical Center, which gives the medical facility stadium naming rights, prime signage and advertising space in Westlake High School athletic programs.

 

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