Last night I caught a tweet from my school’s spirit club about “theme nights” for the upcoming football season.
- Hawaiian Night
- Jersey Night
- Toga Night
- White Out
- Camo Night
- Neon Night
- America Night
- Green & Gold Night
- Pink Out
- Lights Out!
- Tie Dye
Those themes are for all of the games – home and away. And students will come to those games – home and away. And they will scream their heads off. And they will chant. And they will turn a game on another school’s campus into home field advantage.
In college football, the home crowd is sometimes called the “12th Man.” Sometimes in college basketball, it is the “6th Man.” I am not sure what it is called in high school, but I do know that when a bunch of students show up to cheer on their team in a sports contest no matter the sport, then something neat has happened.
But there is something about a Friday night in Clemmons when 600-800 students (yes, we’ve tried to count), show up before a class even starts in mid-August to yell for the football team and announce their presence.
They will be decked out in theme wear and have chants ready. A fantastic student band will come out and keep a rhythm going. A drum line will keep a beat going. A dance team and cheer-leading squad will engage the crowd. And what might be lost in the whole frenzy of the game is that over a third and maybe even half of the student body is at one singular extracurricular activity – cheering, performing, playing, or socializing.
As a community. As a family.
When Raleigh thinks about measuring schools, I might just send them a picture or a video of our students when we score.