They’re bringing tradition back to Glen Rose, and the heat was on Sunday night to prove it.

For the first time since 1994 the Glen Rose High School football team had a bonfire, complete with hot dogs, cheerleaders, twirlers and music.

Sunday night’s event, held on a lot adjacent to the Glen Rose campus of Stonewater Church on Highway 144, kicked off a week of celebration and excitement leading up to the 2017 homecoming game. Head coach Cliff Watkins’ Tigers will take on 0-4 Lake Worth Friday in that contest, with a 7:30 p.m. kickoff. 

The Tigers are 3-1 on the season following their third straight non-district victory on Friday, a 72-14 blowout victory over Carrollton Ranchview at Tiger Stadium.

At 6 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 27, the weekly GRHS pep rally will be held on the square in downtown Glen Rose, immediately following a parade from the high school parking lot.

The last football bonfire for Glen Rose was actually held 22 years ago, but it was not sanctioned by the school. Two students attending that bonfire were injured, and the bonfire was discontinued. 

“Our intention was to bring back the old Glen Rose traditions,” said Blaine Stroud, president of the Glen Rose Athletic Booster Club. “Last year we brought back the pep rally and the parade downtown, and it was a huge success.”

Two Tiger football players, Westen Halcom and Tanner Stroud, fired flaming arrows toward the bonfire to help ignite the bonfire.

The school’s cheerleaders as well as varsity team captains from the GRHS varsity football, volleyball and cross country squads appeared on “stage” before the bonfire was ignited.

The event also featured a “Who ya rootin’ for?” root beer chugging contest. One of the varsity football players, Tyler Torres, won that contest and was awarded a Glen Rose cap and flag, along with a Tiger root beer mug.

Stroud, father of varsity football player and GRHS senior Tanner Stroud, said the excitement is running high among the fans, who also have a an unbeaten volleyball squad that is ranked No. 1 in the state and a girls cross country team on a roll.

Cranking up homecoming week with the bonfire Sunday and the parade and pep rally Wednesday seemed to be just what everyone wanted, according to Blaine Stroud.

“People were coming up to me shaking my hand and they were super excited getting the tradition stuff back,” he said. “And the kids were just pumped up.”

Stroud thanked Stonewater Church for providing the venue for the bonfire, along with the hot dogs.