PHS Varsity Club riles up the crowd


Kayla Ruiz

Seniors and varsity club members cheer on the varsity football team during the game against Fremd on Oct. 2.

Kayla Ruiz, Reporter

On a Friday night in October, a chilly fall wind rushes through the stadium, whipping long hair, bits of fall leaves, and candy wrappers into the air as it passes. The students waiting for the start of the game shiver in layers of scarlet and gray. In a matter of minutes, smatterings of people form a crowd united by a strong school spirit and fierce desire to win.

This fast transition is due greatly to the efforts of Varsity Club to bring the student section together as one at football games in the fall sports season. Whether games are home or away, club members prepare extensively to make moments in the students section part of an unforgettable high school experience at PHS.

“There’s just an energy that is so fired up and positive. The feeling is hard to describe, but there is something about seeing the packed stands, the crowd dressed full-out and ready to cheer on the team,” says sophomore Michelle Smith.

The themes for the football games are much-anticipated and, consequently, carefully planned. The club’s Twitter @phsvclub15 is used to communicate the theme to the student body so students have ample time to plan: they may rise to the challenge of dressing up for creative themes such as Hawaiian or donning Palatine spirit gear for classic ones such as White-out and Black-out.

“Going out for themes makes games 100 times better. Having everyone participating and showing the away team how much spirit our school really has shows support to all involved,” says senior varsity cheerleader Shannon McGovern.

Members of Varsity Club are also expected to share their Pirate Pride at all football games as well as select games of other sports teams, such as Volley for the Cure. Students may also notice the work of Varsity Club in decorating the gym hallway every Friday. The posters seen at the games are the painstaking work of these students.

Madison Fincher, a president of Varsity Club, says her favorite part of leading the club is the ability to help lead her peers in showing school spirit.

“I look forward to organizing themes and decorating the hallway each week,” says Fincher.

The traditional cheers are what give life to the student section, however. The chants that become so familiar to students over the course of four years are not scourged from the reaches of the internet, but passed down through generations of Varsity Club seniors.

In this way, cheers unite students of different classes and perhaps different generations. To shout the cheers with fellow Pirates is to contribute to a longstanding tradition at this school.

The efforts of Varsity Club to enhance the experience of a Pirates football game not only excites students during the fall season, but establishes students’ pride in their school throughout the school year and beyond. Football games create lasting impressions on Palatine students.