Two teachers tabbed for football title game duties

Panzer and Cannaday will be on the field at Lucas Oil Stadium


Megaphone file photo

Mr. Matt Panzer works at his desk in his classroom on the second floor of Loretto Hall.

Ashlynn Bakemeyer, Co-Editor-in-Chief

The college football national championship game will take place in Downtown Indianapolis at Lucas Oil Stadium on Jan. 10, and two Cathedral teachers will be on the field — at least for a few minutes. 

Alabama fans’ crimson and white will clash with Georgia’s red and black in the 67,000 seats in the stadium. However, English teacher Mr. Matt Panzer and religion teacher Mr. Matthew Cannaday won’t be sitting in the stands; they will be on the field for the pregame ceremony. 

Both teachers were selected to help hold the American flag during the national anthem. Panzer said, “One of the people in charge of the College Football Committee is a former Cathedral teacher and a friend of mine. She gave me a phone call and asked if I would be interested in getting involved with the pregame ceremony and I was like, ‘Absolutely.’”

However, actually being allowed onto the field involves a complicated and lengthy process. Panzer said, “There were a lot of forms to fill out, proof of vaccination, (a) background check (and a) valid teacher license, because it was only for teachers.”

Along with being on the field for the national anthem, Panzer and Cannaday will volunteer beforehand with other pregame activities. “We will get there at 4:30 p.m. and then we work until about 8 p.m. doing all of the pageantry stuff.”

Recently, Indianapolis has become a hub city for big sporting events such as hosting the entire March Madness tournament in 2021, Big Ten championship games and now the college football national championship. Panzer said, “I love it. People call (Indianapolis) the sports city of America. I think it’s wonderful. We’re becoming a sort of center.

“We (have) great restaurants, great Downtown, easy access, great airport. I think it’s wonderful that the country is figuring out that Indianapolis is a great place. I think it’s kind of cool with it being the first time having the championship game in Indy, getting to be on the field is a unique opportunity, (a) once-in-a-lifetime kind of thing. The game is great, but I like it for the local community.”

One member of the Alabama football team has already known how great the city of Indianapolis is. Emil Ekiyor ‘18 padded up for the Blue and Gold on the Hill before the crimson and white. Panzer said, “I’m pulling for Emil Ekiyor. Last year was hard with Emil versus (Ohio State player) Peter Werner, but this year there’s no conflict. Roll Tide.”