BATTLE RISING: Revelry reigns at new school's Call to Battle carnival

Friday, August 16, 2013 | 11:45 p.m. CDT; updated 3:36 p.m. CDT, Monday, September 9, 2013
Friday's Call to Battle celebration at the new Battle High School features activities, entertainment, food and performances by some of the school's organizations.

COLUMBIA — Stuffing the last bite of hot dog into his mouth with his eyes closed, Dalton Roberts won the eating competition during Friday's Call to Battle family carnival at Muriel Williams Battle High School.

Roberts was joined in competition by other members of the Battle football team. Those same student athletes were scheduled to play on Battle's field during their first scrimmage at 7 p.m. Saturday. After all the eating, however, they seemed to be in high spirits.

Call to Battle was the first time the new high school invited students and parents to come out and mingle together. Battle students will start classes Tuesday.

Kim Presko, Battle's principal, wants to make this event an annual tradition.

“We want to build a community here," Presko said. "And we want everybody to feel welcomed ... since one of our core values is engagement.”

At the carnival, at least 25 teachers were recruiting new members for clubs. After the orchestra played, the cheer team took the field, sporting new gold and blue uniforms.

“Go blue! Go gold! Let’s go Battle!” the girls shouted. As they cheered, they performed stunts, hoisting a teammate into the air as she balanced on one leg. Their cheers and chants of “B-A-T-T-L-E” had spectators stomping their feet and cheering along.

“We started our training in May. It’s so good to see everyone today,” said Sydnee Anderson, a cheerleader.

Anderson said she looked forward to taking part in her first child development class with her new classmates.

In 2011, students were given the chance to develop and vote on Battle's colors and mascot. Jadaunte Sutton voted in middle school. Now a high school junior, he finally gets to wear the blue uniform of the Spartan basketball team.

“I like my coach and the way he teaches,” Sutton said. Years later, he said, he will still be proud of being a member of the basketball team.

Parents got to see all the school's sports teams as they were led by their coaches around the field. Dancers, volleyball players, softball players, swimmers, golfers, soccer players and many more made their debut. Encouraging applause from the audience flooded the field.

Inflatable slides, free-throw shooting games, matches using inflatable sumo wrestling suits and other activities entertained parents and their children, giving them a chance to meet other families.

Tom Sanders graduated from Hickman High School, but now his daughter Hannah is starting at Battle and is part of the first group of students who will graduate from the school.

Although he's a Kewpie at heart, Sanders was still excited for Battle's opening.

“We got a new school," he said. "A beautiful school."

Supervising editor is Shaina Cavazos.

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