Every year members of the Del Norte High drill team takes home memories of performing in front of tens of thousands of fans at the home of the San Francisco 49ers, but this year will be special.
Del Norte High drill team members perform during halftime of a recent football game. Del Norte Triplicate / Bryant Anderson
The team will be holding car washes, selling Warrior flip-flops, candy bars and beef jerky to fund one last trip to Candlestick Park before the 49ers move to their new home in Santa Clara next year. The drill team expects to perform at the 49ers game Dec. 8, said coach Terri Colton.
“It’s a huge experience for the kids,” she said. “A lot of kids haven’t even passed over the Golden Gate Bridge. They always ask me, ‘is it, like, bigger than our stadium at the high school?’ I say, it’s a little bit bigger.”
The team has been traveling to San Francisco to perform with the Gold Rush Dancers (the 49ers’ cheerleaders) for about 15 years now, Colton said. Up until this year, the team’s trip has been organized through the United Spirit Association, which allows teams to try out for the chance to perform at a 49ers game. But because this is the 49ers’ last year at Candlestick Park, United Spirit Association opted not to invite drill teams to perform in San Francisco, Colton said.
Colton said she contacted the company that provides the entertainment for 49ers games, and it allowed her girls to become junior Gold Rush Dancers. The drill team, which has 36 members, will travel to San Francisco on Dec. 6, practice with the Gold Rush Dancers on Dec. 7 and perform at the game Dec. 8, she said.
“Dancing with the Gold Rush Cheerleaders, it’s big for them,” Colton said, adding that normally her girls would be included with 400-500 cheerleaders from other high schools. “I’ve been with this organization for 28 years and I was on the team for three years and went to the same camp. It’s through building relationships that we’re able to do this. It’s a pretty nice honor. It’s really an amazing event for the kids.”
Each girl has to raise $350 for the trip, which includes the cost of transportation, Colton said. In addition to selling candy and beef jerky and holding car washes, the drill team will help decorate for the Sea Cruise car show Oct. 11-12. They will also help clean up, she said.
“We’ve got a lot of things planned, 36 girls and a lot of money we have to raise,” Colton said.
To find out how to help the drill team get to San Francisco, call Colton at 954-4424.