Demon NationFans bring spirit to the final game of the year
CEDAR FALLS — The Washington “Fight” song, face paint, Demon logos and plenty of spirit were the norm Thursday evening in the UNI-Dome as the Washington Demons made their bid for a state championship title.
The front row of the Demons’ side of the stadium was full of Washington fans decked out in the traditional orange and black clothing with many slogans supporting the team, including “Demon Nation” and “I believe in God and I am a Demon.”
Washington High School senior Walker Breard, son of Monique and Brett Breard, complete with skull face paint, stood in the front row to cheer his team on to a state championship. A crowd of people, likewise with faces painted, stood around him. He said that he had looked online at painted faces and picked the scariest one he found. His girlfriend transitioned the design from an Internet photo to Breard’s face.
“We’ve been doing this all year,” Breard said. “We have been painting our faces all year. We thought it would be fun. I’m really excited. This is my last game in the Demon student section for football, so we are all excited.”
Throughout the week leading up to the game, Breard said that he and his friends had plastered the school with signs encouraging school spirit and cheering on the Demons. Breard and his friends in the front row had all driven the two hours to get to the game right after school let out.
Matt Moeller, son of Susan and Ed Moeller, likewise painted his face, saying he had just begun painting with no idea what he wanted. He ended up with “the Target Dog with a tear.” Before the game began, there was no doubt in his mind that the Demons would bring home the trophy.
“We have always had a good time this year and we have had fun, so we may as well go out with a bang,” he said.
Addison Gaal, daughter of Bob and Krista Gaal, also had her face painted, taking on the persona of a fairy.
“I’m sad,” she said of the last game of the season. “I don’t want it to end. I hope we win.”
Sam Mullens, daughter of Dianne and Donnie Mullens, had a more traditional flame painted around her eye. She also held a foam pitchfork, an alternative to the more traditional No. 1 foam finger. The foam items were being sold at school. She said that she enjoyed the intensity of football and the camaraderie of the students cheering a team on to victory. She enjoyed watching the Demons’ games this year and seeing the team succeed in what they strived for the most.
“All of the boys have such big hearts in the game and the fans get so excited,” she said. “It is just a chain reaction.”
Mullens, as a member of the band, said that she had first begun to attend games to perform. This year, she said, she began to enjoy the games more. She soon began painting her face and wanting to do all the things other fans were doing.
The trip to Cedar Falls was lined with signs encouraging the Demons to victory, including a flashing billboard sign on the highway through Cedar Rapids.
The die-hard fans cheered on the Demons throughout the game, many times chanting “you can’t do that” when rival team Sioux City Bishop Heelan was called for a foul, and even doing the traditional wave through the crowd.
As the starting buzzer was about to sound, principal Erik Buchholz, himself a former Demon football player, did his best to hide his nervousness about the big game from his students. He said that he was very happy to see his team make it to the final game of the season.
“I just want to see a great game out here and I’m wishing the best for my team,” he said. “The guys are unbelievable and the coaches are fantastic. The fact that they got us here is a great deal. We are excited. We have a great group of people looking forward to a wonderful night.”