When it comes to school spirit, Franklin High School has never particularly shined. While there have been attempts in the past to raise school pride, the idea of showing up to events and supporting our school has only ever appealed to a small group of students, and never the student body as a whole. This year, however, Franklin’s Associated Student Body (ASB) is making a strong effort to raise school spirit and grow the student section at different school events.
In an attempt to bring our school spirit up, ASB has created a club called Storm Squad. It originally started in 2019, but due to the pandemic, the program never got a chance to fully bloom. This year Storm Squad is back and is run by two Franklin seniors, Cal Birmingham and Crea Sisco. Storm Squad primarily serves to create a student section at sporting events as well as performing arts events. They also generate themes, make posters, and overall try their best to create a supportive environment for students in general.
Unlike years before, Storm Squad is trying to show equal support for both student-athletes as well as students involved in performing arts, something that has never been done. “We intend on showing up to theater events to support those students, and if other students ask us to show up to their events, we’re more than excited to be there as well,” Birmingham comments. While there have been no performing arts events yet, “Mamma Mia!,” this year’s school musical, is coming up, and it will be interesting to see how they are going to approach supporting the students involved. “As an avid theater, dance, and choir kid, it’s really important for the arts to get as much recognition as sports,” Sisco adds.
While support at football games has been great, there is a major lack in the same level of commitment and dedication as a club showing up to other events like soccer and volleyball. With more seasons and events to come, the question stands “Is Storm Squad truly dedicated to supporting all athletes or just a select few?” Because of this lack of commitment, there are significantly more students showing up to support football than anything else. Part of it is due to the lack of promotion for certain events, whether it’s performing arts or even other sports. “I think it’s also important that we have access to better forms of promotion to help promote other aspects of [the] school,” Sisco explains.
School spirit isn’t only about Storm Squad. It’s about the students and the actions they take to support our school. In the past, there have been some pretty bad remarks made toward opponents or even our own players, and things can get ugly quite fast. While putting in effort to raise school pride at Franklin is great, it also causes some negativity if we direct antagonistic energy towards other teams. To this, Birmingham said, “School Spirit is about elevating our students, not degrading our opponents. For this reason we don’t think anything will get out of hand at games, we […] want to make sure we use our platform for good.” While taking action to raise Franklin’s spirit is great, what’s most important is holding other students accountable for the things they say and do, in order to stay in line with Storm Squad’s goals.
Part of the reason why Franklin’s spirit has always lacked is because students don’t care enough to attend events. In order to draw more students into coming, there has been more effort put into making events fun, such as a shaved ice truck, food trucks, games, face paint, and more. However, the point still stands that these are only provided at football games, never for any of the other fall sports which are just as important and entertaining.
It’s good to see Franklin students put more effort into supporting each other, as long as the support is equal across all interests. I hope to see Storm Squad stay motivated throughout the whole school year and attend more winter sports and performing arts shows such as, “Mamma Mia!,” Winter Dance Showcase, and more. So that way all sports and performing arts get the recognition they deserve.