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Front Page September 11, 2018  RSS feed

Friday Night Lights

By Rebecca Constabile

Melissa Isaccs Melissa Isaccs On Friday nights in Texas, the football stadium is the place to be. Texans love football, but that is not the only reason scores of people flock to the stadium. They also come to see the band, cheerleaders, and in Buffalo, Texas, the Bison Belles. Melissa Isaccs is this year’s Bison Belle director. It is her first year to hold this position. Miss Isaccs is also the FCCLA teacher at Buffalo High School. She grew up just down the road from Buffalo in Jewett, Texas. She graduated from Leon High School in 1998. She says that she knew growing up that she wanted to be a teacher. She credits some of her amazing teachers, such as Mary Sue Duty and Judy Engleman, with helping her realize that teaching was what she wanted to do in life. Both of those teachers she says are two of her biggest influences. Isaccs wanted to become Bison Belle director because she understands the importance of being involved in a small school like Buffalo. She was able to watch the drill team practice and perform last year because of an invitation from former Belle captain Chelsea Harter. Miss. Isaccs plans for the year include continuing the long-standing tradition of the drill team while encouraging the girls she leads to become active members within their own community. This will be the sixty-first year for the Belles. Her favorite part of being director is watching the growth of the girls while creating special connections with each young lady along the way.

Cheryl Lack Cheryl Lack This is the beginning of Cheryl Lack’s fifth year as the high school varsity cheer sponsor. She herself was a high school cheerleader. Not only does she have personal experience as a cheerleader, but Lack also coached competitive cheer for six years. Before becoming a cheerleader however, Lack was a competitive gymnast for thirteen years. She even trained in Spring, Texas, with Bela and Martha Karolyi’s coaching staff. She has a true passion for the sport. Lack is also a 1997 graduate of Buffalo High School. She lives in Buffalo with her husband Brandon and daughter Bradyn. Their oldest daughter, Taylor, graduated from Buffalo last year and is currently attending Tyler Junior College. This year she has a large group of cheerleaders, twenty-one in total. Lack says that she absolutely loves those Friday night lights. She believes that between that and UIL competitions with her squad, it doesn’t get much better. Her squad works super hard for her and themselves. They really do give it all that they have. Mrs. Lack says that her mom, Debra Allbritton, is her biggest influence.

Jeff Villarreal Jeff Villarreal Jeff Villarreal is beginning his eighth year as the director of the Bison Brigade Marching Band. It is his twenty-third year as a band director. He has worked in Ft. Worth, Dallas, San Marcos, and Keller. Villarreal lives in Buffalo with his wife Katie, who also teaches at Buffalo ISD. He says that his family is extremely supportive. They have all even participated in his ever consuming lifestyle as a band director in some way or another over the years. Mr. V, as he is affectionately called by his students, says he has always enjoyed band. He was active in sports growing up but enjoyed band more. His high school band director played a major influence in his life. He even got the opportunity to work with that director in San Marcos for several years. Mr. V is able to play all of the instruments in the band, but the trumpet is his main instrument. Not surprising, that two of his biggest influences are child trumpet prodigy Wynton Marsalis and trumpet player Maynard Ferguson. He was even able to meet the latter in person when his own band opened for the musician in concert. Villarreal says he enjoys seeing students grow through music.

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