By Jenna Vespi, Mia Potamianos, and Jamie Boeheim
Over the past few years school spirit has dwindled at Jamesville-DeWitt High School. However, a new student spirit club called The Flock is making an effort to change that. “We feel that it is our duty as enthusiastic members of the student body to do our best to support everybody who spends time outside of school doing extracurricular activities,” said senior Brian Cieplicki, leader of The Flock.
The Flock is a student-led club that organizes student spectator sections and cheers at school functions to support their school and peers. “We are well aware of the time commitment and amount of effort people put into extra curricular activities,” said Cieplicki, which is why The Flock feels that it is so important to support J-DHS school teams. Freshman Kasey Vaughan, who is on the Varsity Girls Basketball team, appreciates their support. She saw them at her game against Christian Brothers Academy. ”If you make a big play or if one of your teammates makes a big play (The Flock) goes crazy and it’s pretty funny,” said Vaughan
Along with enthusiastic and crazy cheering, the group, which includes two girls and approximately 25 boys, also dress up for the games. “Depending on what team (the Varsity Boys Basketball team) is playing we do different things,” said sophomore Bennett Chirco who is another member of The Flock. When the J-DHS Varsity Boys Basketball team played against Mexico, members of The Flock dressed in American theme clothing and some of the members acted as “border patrol.” Also, during the game against CBA, one of the members, senior Joe Murphy, dressed up as Moses and when a big play occurred, he ran up the middle of the student section as all of the rest of the student section, which was dressed in red, fell onto the bleachers mimicking Moses parting the Red Sea.
“Brian Cieplicki and (senior) Ben Wipper act as the creators of the majority of ideas for The Flock, which are usually for some reason biblical,” said sophomore Aryana Nazem. The group name is inspired by science teacher Keith Comfort’s ruler which resembles a shepard’s staff. He is their adivser and the students represent his flock of sheep.
Sophomore Flock member Nick Palin suggests other schools should have clubs like the Flock in order to bring together the student body in an effort to increase school spirit. “Students should start groups similar to The Flock because people can achieve a greater height of cheering that exceeds past the norm and bring the student body together,” said Palin.
To get more information on the Flock meetings you can listening to the announcements and follow The Flock on Twitter (@theflockjd). The Flock meets in Mr. Comfort’s room once a week, usually on Tuesdays. The Flock uses Twitter “to alert all the Flock members and other people not in the Flock of an upcoming sporting event,” said Palin.