Spectators return to athletic events, student section becomes ‘The Flock’


Sydney Bigelow

All out for Pink Out — Sophomore Lila Manton dressed in pink holds up a sign to support the girls soccer team on their annual “Pink Out” on September 24 to raise awareness for breast cancer. Manton was in the student section, named ‘The Flock’, led by the seven super fans.

Sydney Bigelow, Managing Editor

Withstanding a pandemic and a mascot change, the student section re-emerges as ‘The Flock’, led by the student super fans. ‘The Flock’ joins together at games and events, both at home and on the road, to support student athletes and create a sense of community. 

For many years, students gathered as ‘The Tribe’, but after the decision to change the old mascot name, the student section needed a new name as well. The River Hawk mascot was adopted by the school, so the fans renamed the student section ‘The Flock’ as an attribute to the winged mascot. A flock is a group of similar birds gathering together, which is fitting seeing as the student section is made up of many people gathered with one goal: supporting their teams. 

Each year, a group of seniors are named super fans by their peers. These super fans demonstrate considerable levels of sportsmanship, character, energy, and dedication to supporting athletes on the field. This year, the seven super fans are seniors Dawson Andrews, Derek Conant, David Corbin, Brendan Kelly, EJ Sanchez, Owen Wahl, and Jake Weinberg. 

 “Being a super fan means to put your community first by gathering as many fans as possible to support classmates at their games and also to make sure everybody gets their fair shot at the spotlight after a good team or personal performance,” Corbin said. 

Last year due to COVID-19 protocols no spectators were allowed at any sporting event, only immediate family members were allowed to attend games if practicing social distancing. With new advances in health and safety, the athletic department is allowing and encouraging fans at games, including ‘The Flock’ gathering together outdoors. 

“I love having the flock at games. It’s such a great atmosphere. Hearing chants, people cheering, chanting your name, baby powder, it just makes the atmosphere so electric and is a motivator to really perform. I know the girls soccer team loves having the flock there and seeing our school community come and support,” senior girls soccer captain Sabrina Krause said.  

The cheering and positive support from peers is appreciated by student athletes, especially on important events such as awareness events like Pink Out, Senior Nights to celebrate the senior class, and league and playoff games. During games, ‘The Flock’ recites popular chants, congratulates notable plays, and celebrates the overall performance of the River Hawks on the field, regardless of the outcome of the game. 

“The rest of the super fans and I are really trying to get as many people to go to games as possible. We really want our school to have a notable student section, with lots of noise, energy, and plenty of baby powder. With our rebrand to ‘The Flock’, we are looking to increase the amount of students that go to games, and maybe start some new traditions,” Wahl said. 

The main form of communication between the super fans and the student body is through the student-run Instagram account, not affiliated with the athletic department. However, word of mouth is also used to promote games throughout the school day. Super fans are responsible for organizing ‘The Flock’ and spreading information to the community to encourage attendance to increase numbers, and ultimately, River Hawk pride.