The Norman Transcript

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May 6, 2013

Cheering on the Elrod legacy

NORMAN — The roar of a crowd of more than 80,000 people all dressed in either crimson or cream, is evenly divided with one side yelling “Boomer,” while the other bellows “Sooner.”

You can’t just be anyone to play on this turf, this is where legends are carved and celebrities are born. Everyone understands that “there is only one Oklahoma.” All are here to witness the spectacle that takes place on the football field, where the eyes of the nation can be upon them.

Jimbo Elrod, who at the University of Oklahoma was an All-American linebacker and a part of a team that earned two national championships in 1974 and 1975, is no stranger to the sights and sounds of game day at Oklahoma Memorial Stadium.

However, as he is now retired from football, a new Elrod carries on his legacy on the field, except it isn’t football. His daughter Chanel, a sophomore and OU cheerleader, starts a tradition of Elrods serving athletics on the game day field.

Chanel has come a long way with cheerleading since her parents coaxed her to try it even though she thought it was “too girly.” The crowds that the University of Oklahoma draws are unmatched, but Chanel has never cheered for any small audiences.

She first performed cheer at a Tulsa Talons game, which is a local professional football team, and then throughout school with Jenks High School. The sport has grown on her as she plans to spend the rest of her life coaching it ideally at Jenks High School. Performing on OU’s football field is a memory that Chanel and her dad will share in common. There are not many in the world who can share that same memory, let alone a father and daughter.

“Every time the bell rings for the intro video, I just get chills of excitement and I’m ready to go,” says Chanel about being on the field before a game, as her father agrees.

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