Friday Night Lights – The Power of the Student Section

Back in July, I posted about the upcoming football season at West and the involvement of the student section. They have been better than advertised.

Ten great turnouts from the students. Ten victories.

Wanted to share the original post again.

So here it is.


west wackos

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.