Two Gahanna Lincoln High School parents will encourage students in the class of 2014 to reach for the sky and strive for their dreams with a flyover in their airplanes during the Friday, Sept. 27 homecoming game.
Richard Blaes, father of senior Lexi Blaes, and Brent Owens, stepfather of senior Mitchell Reeves, are part of a demonstration team called Rivet Flight that will conduct an 800-foot flyover at the Lions' football stadium.
"The history of Rivet Flight started in Oklahoma between me and another guy," Blaes said. "We built our own airplanes. They're experimental kit airplanes. We put 50,000-plus rivets in an airplane, so we called ourselves Rivet Flight. I transferred to Ohio and brought the name with me."
Blaes, a former Air Force pilot, said Owens was interested in forming a central Ohio flying formation group. Jim Wilson of Delaware, a former Air Force pilot, is also part of the group.
"I'm a formation instructor," Blaes said. "We decided to form a group. We all built our own aircrafts. We trained three months ago. I ran them through an intense training program. The idea was to do a football flyover. My daughter described some of the thing I'm doing to (band director) Rob (Cebriak), who goes to my church at Stonybrook, and he approached me."
Blaes said at least four pilots and as many as six would make two passes at the stadium. The first will occur during the alma mater, with the second during the band's performance of the Star-Spangled Banner about 7:20 p.m.
"We're primarily doing this for the class of 2014 as a tribute," Blaes said. "We were in their shoes years ago. They have dreams and aspiration to do things. We encourage them to reach out and do their best in everything they do -- reach for the sky and go for their dreams. It's a salute as we start our (flying) group and to say, 'Way to go, class, and be great.'"
The band's alumni show will be the first to incorporate a flyover as part of the performance, Cebriak said.
"I'm real excited about the flyover," Cebriak said.
The Gahanna Lincoln Golden Lions marching band alumni night is being held in conjunction with the homecoming game.
Alumni band members of all ages will join in the pregame and halftime performances.
"I think alumni look forward to the show every year because it highlights a special part of their high school experience," said Jody Ganschinietz, senior flute squad leader and band council member. "Current band members enjoy the show because they are able to mingle with people who were in their shoes and listen to the words of wisdom offered by them."
A rehearsal for alumni and current band members is scheduled for 5-6 p.m. on that evening in the stadium.
Music for the show will include Ain't Nothing Wrong With That, by Robert Randolph and the Family Band; In a Young Man's Mind, by the Mooney Suzuki; and Born to Hand Jive, from the musical, Grease.
After running through the show a few times, the Instrumental Music Boosters will serve dinner to the alumni and current band members.
"We know that some alumni are finishing work or classes and need to come late to the rehearsal, but we can accommodate that," Cebriak said. "Alumni can pick up music at rehearsal, or they can print their parts ahead of time by going to www.gahannabands.org."
The pregame show will begin at 7:10 p.m. Friday, Sept. 27. Alumni who need more information or need to reserve a school instrument should contact Cebriak at 614-478-5519.