20191130-bc-footballart

Bakersfield Christian's David Steele sacks Central Valley Christian quarterback Tyce Griswold during the first half of Friday's Division III Central Section football championship game played at BCHS.

When looking for music to get them energized for a big game, most high school football players likely wouldn't turn to Miley Cyrus' 2009 smash "Party In the U.S.A."

But Bakersfield Christian defensive lineman David Steele not only embraces his love for the song, he regularly displays it in front of teammates and fans.

Before taking the field for the second half of games in 2019, Eagle players have been treated to the site of Steele, a senior defensive lineman, doing a midfield dance routine as the decade-old Cyrus hit plays over the school's loudspeaker.

While the choreography isn't overly complex -- consisting mostly of skipping, arm flailing and occasional pirouetting -- Steele says he's been encouraged to keep doing it after getting a positive response from the locker room.

"It benefits the team because the crowd gets into it and we get into it," he said. "Everybody loves it."

Though his choice of song isn't universally loved, Steele's act has become ingrained in the team's DNA.

"'Party in the U.S.A.' is not really my vibe at halftime (so) I usually look the other way," tight end Ben Yurosek said. "But it gets him going and it's sort of part of our team."

Coach Darren Carr has also embraced Steele's dancing, saying it makes good use of his kinetic personality.

“David Steele is a very high energy young man. So if I didn’t let him do it, (there's) no telling what he’d do on the field," Carr said. "So I think it’s a good thing. It’s fun to watch for sure.”

In Friday's Division III Central Section championship game against Central Valley Christian, Steele's energy was put to great use on the field, as he recorded a sack and recovered two fumbles. The first of the two recoveries came one play after Cavalier return man Noah Berry had returned a kickoff 56 yards to the Eagles 35.

Up just 7-0 at the time of Berry's return, BCHS eventually pulled away for a 28-14 win and a section title.

The win helped exercise some postseason demons for the Eagles senior class, which broke through after each of the last two seasons ended with losses to San Joaquin Memorial by the combined score of 97-14.

"It’s great to finally come and grab it for ourselves," Steele said of the section title. "We all had the mindset of this is what we want, this is what we want to achieve and we’re just going to go and do it. So that’s what we did.”

With the state playoffs on the horizon, Steele and his teammates have a simple strategy for future game.

“All gas, no break," he said. "We’re going to play with our hearts on the line, try not to make that last play our last.”

And will the Cyrus-theme "Party" atmosphere travel if the Eagles play on the road?

"Oh, of course," he said.

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