Celebrating On and Off the Field On Thursday Night Lights

The football game on Thursday, September 6 was much more than an athletic event. It was the CJ community gathering together to highlight athletes, students and the school’s impact in downtown Dayton.

Preparation for the main event, featuring the Eagles versus the Greenville Green Wave, began before the sun was up. Football players, cheerleaders, and members of Eagle Pride pumped up viewers on FOX 45’s morning show.

“The FOX 45 team was outstanding getting our students excited and fans too,” said Kary Ellen Berger, CJ communications coordinator.

From flag twirling, to catching footballs and cheering, the FOX 45 team and students entertained those on and off the field. A recap of the morning show highlights can be found here.

While thousands congregated to Roger Glass Stadium - Home of the CJ Eagles for the game that evening, more were watching in their homes or elsewhere on TVs, computers and mobile devices thanks to FOX 45’s live stream of the game. Those not at the game also saw several behind the scene features which included the presentation of the Universal 1 Credit Union’s Scholar Athlete of the Week. From CJ, Emma Schaefer ‘18 received this award. A group of students also represented CJ in the Kroger Community Outreach commercial. The Eagles focused on the contributions students make to the greater community through Senior Capstone Projects.

Fans at home and in the stands heard Eagle Pride’s halftime show featuring the music of Michael Jackson. Director of performing arts, Debi Schutt, spoke prior to the performance about the advances the school’s performing arts department has accomplished recently including performing at the opening of the Levitt Pavilion and participating in the Wayne Invitational.

The football game itself was entertaining for Eagle fans and the football team. Both the Eagles and the Green Wave were undefeated heading into the game. The Eagles scored early in the first quarter and never looked back, routing the Green Wave 58-16.

Quarterback Ryan Minor was named the FOX 45 Thursday Night Lights Player of the Game, as he threw for 245 yards and four touchdowns. But the biggest surprise of the night was waiting for him at the end of the game.

As Eagles Head Coach Marcus Colvin finished talking to the team after the win, Ryan’s father, Christopher, who has been deployed in Turkey since December, came through the crowd to surprise Ryan. Christopher is an active duty officer with the U.S. Air Force and had arrived back in the U.S. earlier in the week.

“It was very heartwarming. I had no idea he was here," Ryan said to FOX 45, "I’m glad he got to witness a good game.”

You can watch the touching reunion between Ryan and his father here.

“The entire night was amazing,” reflected Jeremy Greenleaf, CJ director of athletics. “Thank you to the entire FOX 45 team, the sponsors, and the CJ community for coming together on a Thursday night for a fun, family event here in downtown Dayton.”

The entire football game, including special shout-outs and the band halftime performance, is available online here. The matchup will also be rebroadcast on WKEF/ABC 22 on Sunday, September 9 at 12 p.m.

Posted September 7, 2018