EARLY — Five of Brown County’s high school football communities came together for a joint pre-season celebration of their schools, gathering for a first-of-its kind pep rally Friday evening at the Bruno Auto Group dealership in Early.

“Are you ready for some football?” broadcast personality Dallas Huston, who hosted the pep rally, called out to a large, festive crowd.

Players, coaches and cheerleaders from Brownwood, Early, Blanket, May and Brookesmith, along with the Brownwood and Early high school bands, were present, cheering for each other and expressing hopes for successful seasons.

The Bruner dealership organized the pep rally, which also served as a fund-raiser to benefit local teams. For each test-drive of a Bruner vehicle, the dealership is donating $5 to the teams.

Players milled about in shorts and football jerseys as Huston, speaking on a microphone from the bed of a Bruner truck, asked people to imagine wearing a football helmet and running wind sprints in the August heat. 

“Our job as fans is to show them we have pride in what they’re doing,” Huston said.

One at a time, Huston called coaches forward — Sammy Burnett of Brownwood, Blake Sandford of Early, Tyler Tabor of Blanket, Scott Edmondson of Brookesmith and assistant coach Chad Dail of May.

The coaches, in turn, called their teams forward for introductions and made a few comments about their hopes for the coming season.

Huston also called Howard Payne University head football Coach Braxton Harris forward. “This is what makes this community, and this is what makes this place special, right here and right now,” Harris said.

The Brownwood and Early bands took turns playing several numbers. The bands played an impromptu song together after Brownwood band director David Lambert and Early director William Blackburn hastily came up with a plan, standing in front of their bands and speaking back and forth to each other. 

Huston said it had never happened previously in Brown County where teams and fans from different teams have been able to get together “to socialize and talk football.”