335-Pound Prep Lineman Also Participates On Cheerleading Team … During Same Game
Armand Fernandez-Pierre wasn’t converted from a cheerleader into a football player … he’s a cheerleader and a football player. Yep, the 335-pound high school senior nose tackle, who is being recruited by UCLA and the University of Miami, does both, sometimes during the same game.
Get this: Fernandez-Pierre will play the first half of a game, then at halftime he’ll go to the sideline and cheer with the cheerleading team. Then he’ll go back and play in the game in the second half. Sometimes he’ll alternate between cheering and playing during the game.
Why is he allowed to do this? Because he’s amazingly good at football, and the only way he’ll continue playing is if his coaches let him be a cheerleader as well.
Because, Texas high school football.
Fernandez-Pierre plays for the Episcopal School of Dallas.
His double-duty during games began when football coach Clayton Sanders spotted Armand.
He says the senior was reluctant at first, because he’d suffered a serious neck injury playing football as an eighth grader.
He decided to stick to cheerleading as a junior, but agreed to play football his senior year.
“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.
Another special rule involving Fernandez-Pierre: he’s not allowed to go full contact in practice, for fear that he might hurt one of his teammates. Fernandez-Pierre:
“When it comes to football I love being able to be, I guess – how could you say it – brutal.”
Oh, and he’s also in choir, theatre, plays Lacrosse, powerlifts and works part-time at Best Buy.