Blue Jay Spirit On Display at 2016 Rivalry Game Festivities

Posted October 3, 2016 / Last updated October 6, 2016

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The 97th Great American Rivalry football game took place at Tad Gormley Stadium on Friday, Sept. 30, and plenty of rivalry fun was had leading up to kickoff. On campus, Jesuit’s honored military alumnus LtCol Justin Ansel, Jr. ’91, USMC addressed Morning Assembly. Later in the day students gathered for a pep rally in the gym to harness Blue Jay spirit before the big game.

View the Rivalry Game Pep Rally Photo Gallery


Seniors got into the spirit by donning costumes for the pep rally.

Jesuit and Holy Cross families then met for a combined tailgate prior to the start of the game. Thousands of students, alumni, parents, and parents of alumni gathered at the blue and white tent on the stadium’s Marconi Drive entrance from 4:00 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. for food, fun, and Blue Jay camaraderie. Parents of new Blue Jays who visited the tent were also treated to a pair of game tickets.

View the Rivalry Game Tailgate Photo Gallery


Max Gruening ’06 (right) oversees the grilling of hundreds of hotdogs and hamburgers at the tailgate.

Game day morning, the Class of 1985 helped with set-up logistics. During the tailgate, complimentary food and soft drinks were served to Blue Jay fans. Max Gruenig ’06 of Koz’s Restaurant grilled hundreds of hotdogs and hamburgers, while football parents cooked up smoked sausage, jambalaya, and pulled pork sandwiches for hungry families and friends.

New this year, Jesuit’s tailgate included a formal “alumni row.” Multiple years staged tents as meeting places for their classmates, enjoying each other’s company before the big game.

Fans sported their official game-day T-shirts, which were sold throughout the week and at the tailgate tent by the Student Council in conjunction with Jesuit’s office of institutional advancement. The Student Council also hosted yard games, and face painters were on hand for kids of all ages.


The Jesuit and Holy Cross drum lines meet for a drum off before the Krewe of Rivalry Parade.

Jayson and Holy Cross’s Thunder the Tiger led the Krewe of Rivalry Parade at 6:15 p.m. The parade featured each school’s marching band, cheerleaders, dance team, and both schools’ Legends of the Game and distinguished military alumni honorees. This year, Jesuit recognized the 1946 State Championship Football Team, represented by Robert Chaney, Moon Landrieu, Joe Shirer, and Allan Smuck. As mentioned, Jesuit also proudly recognized LtCol Ansel for his distinguished and meritorious military service to the United States.