The 70-piece Marching Cobras of New York band will lead the Vince Lombardi trophy up 33rd Street to 43rd Street in the NFL Experience Parade on Jan. 29 to insure the Super Bowl gets a warm welcome from New York City despite its frigid temperatures.
Fifteen students from St. Christopher’s Clark Academy in Dobbs Ferry will be part of that performance. On Thursday, Jan. 23, they received a pre-game pep talk, and a special proclamation, from Westchester County Executive Rob Astorino.
“This is truly amazing and I hope you understand how special this invitation is from the National Football League,” Astorino said.
“We’re talking the Super Bowl—the Super Bowl. Only the two best teams go to the Super Bowl, and you’re (the Marching Cobras) one of the best bands in the whole area that’s going to make Westchester proud. We’re all proud of all your work and your school.”
Astorino told Patch the opportunity for these students was nothing short of amazing.
“These are special kids,” he said. “They represent St. Christopher’s, and next week, they’ve been given an incredible opportunity by the NFL to represent Westchester. It’s really cool, and they deserve it.”
Drummer and section leader Isaiah Williams tried to encapsulate the excitement the band has as it prepares for its big moment.
“It’s just great. I don’t know how to explain it,” he said. “This is going to be a life memory. It’s kind of like a life and death type of situation where you’re thinking ‘Woah, don’t make a mistake.’ This is the Super Bowl, and everyone—family, friends, the whole country—is going to be watching.”
Williams said the Cobras are preparing for the weather elements just like the Seattle Seahawks and Denver Broncos, who will play in the Super Bowl on Feb. 2 at Met Life Stadium in East Rutherford, N.J. But unlike Peyton Manning, Williams is hoping for cold weather.
"I like the cold more than the heat," Williams said. "I have my line out there in freezing temperatures getting ready. The most important thing is to be prepared and have our steps accurate and on point. This is our Super Bowl too."
Marching Cobras coach and founder Terrel Stowers said the band has been practicing five days a week in all types of weather conditions since they got the call about the Super Bowl performance in October.
“This is a once in a lifetime opportunity for us,” Stowers said. “This is the biggest stage we’ve ever performed on and we’re looking forward to showing the world our fun routines.”
About St. Christopher’s
St. Christopher's helps teens with emotional, behavioral and learning disabilities by providing a residential program encompassing comprehensive therapeutic, social, and family services coordinated with special education schooling.
St. Christopher’s team of more than 200 people serves more than 170 resident youths on three campuses, plus 160-day students at the Greenburgh Academy. Our primary campus and home for more than 100 years is an 8-acre site in Dobbs Ferry, N.Y. It encompasses the Clark Academy (middle and high school), seven residential cottages, and other facilities.