New club boosts school spirit

Senior captains organize events for student body


Claire Satkiewicz

Running into the main gym, Shield captain Bryce Wolf (right) accompanies other Shield captains to lead the school through cheers at the Loyalty Day assembly on Sept. 2. The Shield is a new club replacing the Down to the River Squad and Spartan Spirit Squad, and participants attend as many school-sponsored events as possible.

Full of anticipation and excitement, senior Ella Shmarak was invited to come to the football field via email just weeks before the start of the school year, where she was told she would be one of the 12 captains for The Shield.

“[The Shield sponsors] made us pose and [said] ‘Congrats, you are Shield captains,’ and explained what Shield was because it’s a new thing this year,” Shmarak said.

Decked out in green and gold,Shield members attend andcheer at school-sponsored events, including sporting events,concerts and the annual Variety Show in efforts of spreading school spirit. 

During meetings, the 12 senior captains plan out which events they can attend and how to rally support for the school. They put together in-school events like the courtyard party held on Aug. 31, during which they sold Shield T-shirts and set up a bounce house obstacle course in the student mall.

The Shield is sponsored by English teacher Danielle Fluegge and Justin Weiner, P.E. and broadcasting teacher.

Down to the River Squad and Spartan Spirit Squad were discontinued as part of a new mission to encourage more students to get involved, Fluegge said.

“It’s a name change and a combining of groups,” said Fluegge. “And it’s a stronger mission to get as many students involved as possible. When our athletes are looking into the stadium or they look into the stands, they see that they have the support of The Shield behind them.”

The Shield was created to be something different from previous traditions.

“Any time the students can have that ownership,I think it is so much more impactful for the rest of the student body,” Weiner said.

One of the club’s goals is to get underclassmen involved in showing their school spirit. The Shield is open to all grade levels so that upperclassmen are not the only ones dressing up and attending events.

“The main change is making it more for underclassmen instead of just strictly seniors and maybe a couple of juniors,” said Shmarak.“We’re trying to make it so that everyone can join.”

One of the club’s plans to involve more students is promoting clubs and sports on social media, and having more parties in the courtyard during lunch and encouraging spirit in person.

“There are so many events to go to that you don’t think about until someone tells you about it,” Shmarak said.

The Shield is about having fun and not feeling judged by showing spirit, Shmarak said.

“We are all very passionate about what we do,” said Shmarak.“We all like to go all out. But we all know we have to spread the message.”