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WALLKILL, New York — Ah, the honored tradition of athletes running through a banner to pep up pep rallies and to make dramatic entrances on to or exits from the playing field.
Once upon a time, these banners were probably made by excited and artful cheerleaders on butcher paper. The speed and the weight of the athletes would rip through the banner with virtual ease.
Nowadays, tear away banners are printed on vinyl with a split down the middle, using Velcro to attach the halves together. The new fandangled banners are reusable, but they probably offer a bit more resistance to the player leading the team on to the field. This new resistance may mean nothing to big leaguers, but the story is entirely different for little leaguers.
For example, Wallkill Mighty Mites, a team made up of 6- to 7-year-olds, make a good ol’ Mighty Mite attempt at busting through their tear away banner. But instead of busting through the banner, the players leading the charge crash into it. But that doesn’t stop the wall of tiny footballers from hurtling forward to their shot of gloriously bursting through the banner.
Not one Mighty Mite makes it through the banner, and the boys end up in a hilarious dog pile on top of the banner, with only a few players remaining clear of the carnage. To make matters even more hilarious, the slow motion footage is a genius exaggeration to the melee.
As the cherry on top, the tiny cheerleaders ushering the footballers from their game split into two reactions: one side seems confused and immobile in the aftermath, and the other side jumps and cheers, refusing to let anything get in the way of their pep.
Fight on, Mighty Mites!