El Centro, Calif. – Six cadets from Calipatria High School honor guard displayed their colors before thousands of people during the Chargers versus Cleveland Browns game at Qualcuum Stadium in San Diego this weekend. They said the experience was unforgettable.
“We are a small valley and to represent our Calipatria school! I felt very grateful and excited,” said Julianna Rios, honor guard cadet.
School principal Joe Derma said beyond the thrilling moment, it gave them valuable life skills.
“The experience gives them confidence. Performing before thousands of people is a unique experience,” said Derma.
Before thousands of eyes, the honor guard marched and raised their flags for everyone to see.Cadet Zeke Fernandez said everyone’s nerves were on edge.
“Our first Chargers game! Especially being on the field, in front of thousands of people! Yeah! Our nerves were up. But we were all excited and a little bit nervous,” said Fernandez.
Latrell Thomas, on his third year with the honor guard, sees this tradition as preparation for a career in military .
“It’s going to help me a lot. We learn about commands, we do drill and ceremony. It helps us become a better soldier,” said Thomas.
Anai Sanchez continues with the honor guard even though she wants to pursue a career in nursing.
“I still love the exciting stuff they do,” Sanchez explained.
Fernandez said the experience helped them bond as a team and family.
“You feel a sense of pride. Not only in yourself but your peers, your high school, your city – it’s just an honor,” Fernandez concluded.