Crack, sizzle, pop

Student body, faculty devour breakfast at annual bacon fry during Texas vs. Arkansas week


Photo by Lauren Gibbert

Story by Caroline Purtle, online editor in chief

For many seniors, today began with the sound of a pounding alarm and the smell of bacon. With over 12 grills, billions of biscuits and mounds of scrambled eggs, the hundreds of plates were filled to a brim on Sept. 5 during the annual bacon fry.

Every year at 7:30 a.m. the courtyard outside the cafeteria is crowded with smiles and war cries of the hungry Tiger students. A stimulus for the mass, a free breakfast provided, all cooked by the senior class.

“I got up at 5, and got here at 5:40 [this morning] and put up all the tables with Annie Tarwater and Brianna Carmony,” senior class president Maggie Coleman said. “My favorite part was actually seeing people get the food because I know all the hard work we put into this is finally over.”

Besides the crispy bacon tradition and school spirit, some new additions made their appearance this year.

“This year we did donuts, and they’re kind of twisted with icing, that’s different,” Coleman said. “The Fox Sports’ Fan Bus actually came and so did Power 95.9 and interviewed us.”

The Fox film crew even captured Trochia participating in the national ALS Ice Bucket Challenge. With her thick fur, the Tiger barely flinched when the water hit her.

“I expected to get really, really wet but I didn’t at all,” senior mascot Chandler Thomas said. “The Chick-fil-A cow challenged me, so I challenged Arkansas High’s mascot next.”

Though Texarkana is considered a small town with big city pride, major corporations are now noticing the 100th year anniversary of the rivalry game.

“Fox Sports is following us around the whole entire day because we are the DQ Game of the Week,” Coleman said. “It’s been really cool to know that we are getting on TV.”

Filled with bright lights and cameras, the student body crowded around the tables eager for the some fresh breakfast.

“The food came out a little slow,” Coleman said. “The eggs took a little longer than we expected.”

Others don’t mind the wait, the enthusiasm of tonight’s predicted big win is enough to quench any hungry stomach.

“This was my best bacon fry ever,” senior student body secretary Nick Richter said. “I think it’s the greatest. We all just gathered here as a class– cooking some bacon and beatin’ some hogs.”

A grill conga line, a U-shaped serving station and some greased frying pots scattered the courtyard with over a hundred senior kids, all working as a well-oiled machine.

Seniors Matthew Crawford and Robert Hoover in the grilling line-up. Photo by Rachel Lewis

“With this chef’s hat I’m obviously the chef,” Richter said. “I’ve been the bacon tester, I’ve sampled the fare from every single bacon station.”

Even though the teenage chefs are a bit young to cook in a five-star restaurant, their skills seemed to be exquisite when it came to grilling.

“We had some A-1 bacon this year,” Richter said. “The bacon was definitely a 10. We had some crunch and some chewy.”

Not everyone behind the grill was cooking, some served the food, and others, like senior KJ Reid, just paraded his Tiger pride.

Video by Savannah Pritchard

“I gave myself a title, I’m the ‘hype man’,” Reid said. “Just ran around with my flag, got everyone hyped, [because] today is Tiger day and we are fixing to beat the Arkansas Razorbacks.”

The underclassmen were feeling today’s good vibes. What couldn’t go wrong with a plate full of bacon and a great football team?

“I have my orange pants on, and I’ve just been getting crunk,” sophomore class president Hutch Tidwell said. “I showed up today with an empty stomach and a full heart of orange.”

Seniors Javon Thomas and Malik Gailes frying up some bacon. Photo by Jordan Rowe