“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
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
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