Branding Iron under unique circumstances

The annual  Branding Iron game has yet to take place in a post-pandemic world. I believe that with the proper safety precautions, DBHS can and should maintain  the usual Branding Iron traditions and endeavor to make the most of this event, creating a spectacle for students as it has in previous years. 

So far, few details have been revealed regarding the procession of the annual Branding Iron football game between rivals Diamond Bar High School and Walnut High School on April 16. While this event is usually preceded by many festivities, it’s unclear how many of these–if any–will take place this year. However, it is safe to assume that no matter what happens, COVID-19 will still be a major factor. 

No matter what, the most vital aspect of Branding Iron this year will be the spectators. It is important to have an audience, even if it is a small one, because it allows the players on the field to feel the school spirit. As an athlete myself, I understand that it’s always easier to perform with encouragement and support. After all, what is a game with empty bleachers? Most of the excitement and camaraderie that comes from a match, especially one between rival schools, lies in the audience. 

As a whole, the spirit of a high school football game comes from the shouting in the bleachers, music blasting through the speakers and cheerleaders performing. Though it may not be to the same extent, it is certainly possible to make all of these things happen with masks and social distancing this year. 

Aside from the event itself, one of the best aspects of football games is that it draws days-long, school-wide participation. Band, dance, cheerleaders and song leaders perform and USB often turns it into a week filled with celebration. Although we are still attending school remotely, this part of Branding Iron can still be done through social media.

Branding Iron is not just a football game. It is a school-wide event, a showcase for the performing arts, a friendly show of rivalry between Diamond Bar and Walnut High School. But most importantly, it is something that cannot be replicated with empty bleachers.