Eastland-Pearl City High School football has the most unique team entrance in the country. It involves a lot — like, a lot — of exhaust and can’t be great for the environment or anyone involved but it looks awesome.
Eastland-Pearl City is actually two schools combined.
Eastland High School is located in Lanark, Illinois. Pearl City is located in Pearl City, Illinois.
Pearl City has a population of less than 1,000 and its high school enrolls around 150 students. Lanark has a population of about 1,500 and its high school enrolls about 300 students.
They are separated by 11 miles in the northwestern corner of the state.
Neither team could field a football team on their own so they joined forces. And even combined, they only have enough players to compete on the eight-man level of the sport.
Eight-man football is exactly as it sounds. Rather than having 11 players on both sides of the ball, there are just eight. And all eight players are eligible to run/catch/throw the ball. Tons of fun.
All of this goes to say that Eastland-Pearl City football is as small town midwest as small town midwest gets. Its pregame entrance is no exception!
Eastland-Pearl City has a crazy high school football entrance.
Players take the field from atop a hill. Both sides of the hill are lined by smoke-rolling diesel trucks that pump out a colossal amount of exhaust as the players walk down the hill and onto the field.
Putting the environmental and health questions aside, it doesn’t get much cooler than that!
Here is how it looked during last year’s playoffs with a little bit of snow on the ground:
Semi Final vs Gibson City Melvin Sibley a few years ago.— Eric Huenefeld (@Heenahfeld) September 3, 2023
With the snow on the ground and all that…it was pretty awesome. pic.twitter.com/Bs26seT9GQ
There are a lot of interesting team entrances on the collegiate and high school levels. Most schools run through a banner or a tunnel, or some sort of mascot-themed inflatable.
Eastland-Pearl City stands alone. The Wildcats roll smoke!