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“Who ya rootin’ for?” It’s a simple question, but Herman Marfil has added his own flare to it. His voice can be heard above the crowd of hundreds of Bulldog football HERMAN MARFIL fans at Vacaville High School, yelling, “Who ya rootin’ for?” The crowd, without missing a beat yells back, “Vaca Hiiiiiigh School!” He also can be seen wearing his american flag bandana and a Vacaville High School letterman’s jacket. “If I don’t wear the bandana, people don’t know who I am,” he said. He even sports an honorary football Section Championship ring that was given to him two years ago. On one side it has the initials “WYRF” for his trademark yell. Marfil started the cheer’s tradition when he graduated from Vacaville high School in 1957 and has kept it going since. “Everybody wants to yell,”said arfil, adding that he leads the cheer five to six times at each game. “I’m trying to get everyone pumped up.” A true fan, Marfil has attended just about every home and away game supporting the Bulldogs and plans to be on hand tonight for yet another Black and Blue Bowl, as Vacaville and Will C. Wood high schools square off on the gridiron at Tom Zunino Stadium. But there was a time last year, when it wasn’t certain Marfil would make it to any future games. Last year he was diagnosed with leukemia and could barely walk or even talk. “Last year at this time, people thought I wasn’t going to make it,” he said. “I was in the hospital too many times and I missed several games. Marfil said at that time he was shocked to see how much the players and the fans supported him. “After their warm-up, each player came to me and either gave me a great big hug or a handshake,” he said. “I couldn’t help but cry. My heart was just uplifted. It was overwhelming.” Marfil said he still has the get well cards he was given. Today, Marfil’s cancer is in remission. “I’m great. No, I’m wonderful now,” he said. “I wasn’t ready to call it quits.” The origin of the familiar crowd-boosting cheer he leads at each game had meager beginnings. Marfil explained that while the Bulldogs had an away game in Vallejo, the Vacaville high School cheerleaders actually cheered for the wrong team. Instead of yelling “defense”, the group was yelling “offense” when the opposing team had the ball. “That’s when I had to ask, ‘Who are you rooting for?’ he said. “It stuck.” Now 68 years old, Marfil said he’s not going to stop anytime soon. “When I was younger I used to run back and forth (in the stands),” he said. “I’m on the field now, I guess you’d say I’m part of the woodwork or part of the lawn.”
No Doubt About the team this fan will be rooting for...
Even the youngest of Bulldog fans enjoy the “Who Ya Rootin’ For?” cheer.
BY MELISSA MURPHY: Vacaville Reporter November 14, 2008
“Who ‘ya rootin for? Herman Marfil inspires the ‘dogs