Staff Photo: John Bohn Grayson students Ryan "Hutch" Hutcheson, 17, at left, Kawan Moore, 17, at center, and Patrick Sullivan, 18, right, have created a video titled "Brookwood Where You At?" The video has gone viral on youtube, while the music from the video is selling well on the iTunes music store.
Brookwood and Grayson rivalry raps
GRAYSON -- A trio of musicians and an aspiring filmmaker have just one question for the Brookwood High School Broncos:
"Where you at?"
Grayson High School Senior and Songwriter Patrick Sullivan said a friendly rivalry between Grayson and Brookwood high schools was the push behind a four-minute video produced by the young collaborators.
Posted online two weeks ago, the song, "Brookwood Where you At?" has gained much popularity. As the Rams and Broncos prepare to clash Friday, the YouTube video has garnered more than 200,000 hits from web users.
The songwriters featured in the video are Grayson High School students: Sullivan, 18, and Kawan Moore and Ryan Hutcheson, both 17. Heritage Academy student Kyle Sklenar, 16, produced the film. Sullivan said it started out with an idea "that we wanted to rap about something like a hangout spot in Grayson."
"The whole thing turned into, 'Why don't we make a song about one of our biggest football games coming up?'" Sullivan said. "It seemed like it would have a bigger impact, and people could probably relate."
Brookwood and Grayson have combined to win the last six Region 8-AAAAA championships in football. Grayson won the rivalry game in 2008 and 2009, but Brookwood has won five of the seven all-time meetings.
On Wednesday night, Brookwood answered the weeks-old taunt by launching its own video, "Grayson Step Your Game Up."
In less than 24 hours, the video gained more than 20,000 hits.
Brookwood filmmaker Kaleb Flores, a senior, said his response to the Grayson video aimed to "unify the school."
Flores commended the Grayson students for their video as well.
"They did a very nice job with it," Flores said.
Flores said Brookwood collaborators began work on the response video "from the minute we saw the Grayson video."
"Grayson put out their video, and we thought, 'This will emphasize our growing rivalry. Let's keep this thing going and make something special.'"
Added Flores: "Grayson is a really good school, and they've definitely worked to be where they are. Same thing with Brookwood. I think that, together, they are two of the greatest high schools in the state."
The Broncos' response video featured a number of the school's athletic teams, including the reigning region champion softball and volleyball teams, and state champion football, cross country and boys tennis teams.
A line from the Brookwood song boasts: "Welcome to a world where Rams will eat their words, and you're gonna get trampled if you come after our herd."
The song from Grayson students features similar jabs: "Everybody, go mark your calendar on 10/28/11, 'cause that's the date we're sending every Bronco up to heaven."
One of the songwriters, Moore, said the "Brookwood Where You At?" tune is a "modern-day version of the old 'we got spirit, yes we do, we got spirit, how about you' cheer."
Moore and fellow musicians originally wrote the song to sustain school spirit, but they've also decided to leverage the song's popularity to raise money for charity.
The song is available on iTunes for 99 cents. All proceeds benefit the American Cancer Society's Relay for Life.
Sullivan said he's talked to many people who have either purchased or planned to purchase the tune.
"We're hoping to get a lot of money for Relay," Sullivan said. "We were never in this to make money anyway, so we figured we'd give it away."
He added that the experience has been a bit surreal.
"We never expected it to get this big," Sullivan said.
He and his friends laid down tracks for the song at Sullivan's home in Grayson. It all started with a microphone in his bedroom closet and music recording software on his laptop computer.
"We each wrote our own verses," Sullivan said. Kyle Sklenar, a Heritage Academy student, edited and produced the video.
Sullivan said the response from Brookwood students has been "mostly just a bunch of talk ... which is exactly what we were after."
Flores agreed that the videos have been a talking point for students as the big day approached.
"All I can say is, it's going to be an intense game," Flores said. "And at the end of the day, it's going to be the game that does the talking."
"Brookwood Where You At?" and "Grayson Step Your Game Up" are both available on iTunes.
Here's the Grayson video:
Here's the Brookwood video: