SHS students perform at Lucas Oil Stadium

SHS students perform at Lucas Oil Stadium
Posted on 12/09/2017

To kick off the Indiana High School Athletic Association State Football Finals, two Scottsburg High School students performed the National Anthem at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis during Thanksgiving break.

"There were a lot of people in the seats," SHS student Reanna Vaughn said. "I was nervous and scared."

“It was awesome to be on the field,” SHS student Marly McNeely said. “I was nervous when we did the test run because you couldn’t listen to yourself.”

When the big performance came at Lucas Oil Stadium, McNeely began to sing without too many nerves, and Vaughn signed the National Anthem using American Sign Language. The pair first worked together during this year's SHS first home varsity football game in 34 years.

Because of the momentous occasion of the first official home varsity football game in three decades, SHS Athletic Director Jamie Lowry invited IHSAA Assistant Commissioner Robert Faulkens to attend the game. It was there Faulkens watched McNeely and Vaughn perform.

“I don’t think any of us could have predicted how awesome their performance would be, but when they finished Mr. Faulkens immediately wanted their names as he wanted them to perform at the state finals,” Lowry said.

Vaughn started learning ASL by searching YouTube videos on her computer, which she received as a gift for her 17th birthday. From there, she worked in the classroom with a teacher, who specializes in instruction for students with hearing impairments. The teacher helped Vaughn learn more about sign language and showed her how an app on her iPad. From there, Vaughn’s love for ASL grew, and she began teaching other students how to communicate using sign language.

McNeely has been singing the National Anthem since eighth grade. She is a senior at SHS.

“I’ve had Marly sing a lot for me in the past. She has a tremendous voice, and I would love to see her do something with that talent in the future. Reanna’s mom and Leah Ann Becker had contacted me weeks before saying that Reanna had learned to sign the National Anthem and wondered if she could do it at home games, and I was thrilled to let her do it.  It just fell together nicely,” Lowry said.

In addition to the National Anthem, Vaughn has performed other songs using sign language for the Scott County 4-H Fair and SHS FFA. She also signed a song for the basketball game, where the SHS cheer block clapped for her using sign language.

The opportunity to perform at the IHSAA State Football Finals was a moment Vaughn and McNeely will remember for years to come.

"I liked going to Lucas Oil, and I would do it again," Vaughn said.

“It was really cool,” McNeely said.

“Having the chance for Scottsburg to have representation at the Football State Finals (a sport we had been absent from for so long) was great exposure,” Lowry said. “I hope one day it is our football team that is the representative, but it was a fantastic treat to showcase some Scottsburg talent!”

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