BY GARRETT HILL ON OCTOBER 18, 2013
The quarterback steps back in the pocket, ready to pass. His eyes search rapidly for a target, and there it is, downfield, his open man. Satisfied at his option he cranks his arm backwards, feeling the grip of the lace on the ball, he is ready to release, then in just an eyeblink, he finds himself on the ground, dazed and confused. He looks up and meets the excited eyes of Kentavious Street while a roar unlike anything he’s ever heard assaults his ears from the stands.
The Rowdie Rampants have just witnessed the first sack of a Friday night game. Since early 2011, our group of students has been earning a reputation for being the most feared high school fan section in North Carolina, and I refuse to let that title die my senior year.
Being a Rowdie Rampant is more than just coming to an event and standing there; When you want the win almost more than the team does, when you lose sleep because the Conley game is coming up, and when you walk into school the morning after a big game having difficulty speaking with your sore throat, that’s when you’ll know what being a Rowdie Rampant feels like. Many of you reading this might be saying, “Geez, he gets way too into this stuff. It’s just a few games.” To this I would offer you a challenge; Try letting yourself get lost in the excitement just once, and I mean truly lost in it, and then maybe you can begin to understand why all this means so much to me.
All the excitement aside, being a Rowdie Rampant has more benefits than you might realize, one of which being how it helps bring us all together. I can’t tell you the number of times I’ve seen a person that I don’t know really well yelling his or her heart out at a game and the result is me learning their name. When I was a sophomore, going to the games helped me meet many different people and gain many new friends. There’s something special about all of us grouping up together whilst facing a common enemy and a common goal. All the problems we might have with different people seem to get lost amongst the fierce screams and excited faces that make up our fan section, and any sporting event is a new chance for us to grow closer as a school.
We all know that the Rowdies have received plenty of negative comments from people outside our school, but this year especially we have kept it clean, rendering any complaints baseless and rather funny. I am proud that a soccer dad from South Central was so worried we were throwing his son off his game that he felt the need to come talk some serious sauce to us, even though he hasn’t been in high school since 1978. It made him look bad while simultaneously proving that we make a serious difference to all our players on the field (or court).
To make a long story short, I want everyone to realize how great of an opportunity we have to make regular nights run rampant with excitement, or maybe just to meet new people. Regardless of your reason I encourage all of you to get out to a sporting event, scream like you’ve never screamed, feed off the energy, and realize just how awesome being a part of this group feels. Let’s resurrect the Rowdie Rampants to its former glory, and remind every high school in North Carolina why the thought of playing a game against JHR should terrify them. Go Rose.