Armand Fernandez-Pierre is a 335 pound nose tackle for Dallas parochial school Episcopal School of Dallas has Division 1 offers from power house programs like the University of Miami and the UCLA Bruins. But during half time and other portions of the game he changes and joins the cheerleaders.
He was cheerleading because he suffered a neck injury in eighth grade playing football but the football coach was determined to get him back on the field. Armand was willing to play again but didn’t want to let his cheerleading teammates down.
“The deal was that he and my cheer coach would have to figure a way that I could play both sports in the same season,” Armand said.
The decision has worked well for the football team because he has manhandled opponents when he was on the field for ESD. His cheer coach was reluctant to approve the decision.
“We fought tooth and nail to keep him just on our team and our sideline,” Eric Daboa, Episcopal School of Dallas cheer coach, said. “But we realized what a good athlete he is and understand the opportunities that he would have with football.”
Armand finds similarities between the two sports.
“[Cheer] is about encouraging each other and moving forward as a group and a team,” Armand said. “When it comes to football I love being able to be, I guess – how could you say it – brutal.”
This isn’t the only two areas of Armand’s school life, he is a busy student. He has gone to State in choir, is in theatre, plays Lacrosse, powerlifts and works part-time with the Geek Squad. Not to mention at one point he wrestled.
Armand also isn’t allowed to hit his teammates in practice because the coach is afraid he’ll injury them. Considering the only live action Armand sees is in football games it makes his manhandling of opponents even more remarkable.
Kudos to Armand for keeping his commitment to the cheerleader squad.
[h/t] FOX DFW