Kenzie Hushak’s assumption of FHC student section leader strayed from reality


Kevin McPoland

Kenzie Hushak cheering on the FHC rangers at the pink out!

Shopping online for an inflatable cow costume, senior Kenzie Hushak realized her job as student section leader wasn’t as easy as she thought. 

She’d hoped for this part since she was an underclassman, but when her junior year came to an end, she still hadn’t secured a place as the fourth student section leader. Finding out it had to be passed down in order to obtain the position, she texted Anna Freihofer— a former student section leader from the year before—asking if she could become a 2021-2022 leader. After being told yes, it all exceeded what she had expected, positively and negatively. 

I loved being a student section leader for many reasons.” Kenzie said, “Being given the opportunity to play a small role in such a huge community, being able to watch my friends play football while in the front row, the banana chant—it was one that Theryn and I always did— and dressing up for themes: it all played a role in the experience.”

Coming up with themes for the games is a major aspect of what she and the other four leaders do. Over the summer, they planned most of the themes out in a little group chat, although some had to be changed due to requests from schools or if they found a better idea. 

“Regardless of anything, we’re here to support the team and have fun as a community.”

— Kenzie Hushak

During the country-themed game at FHN, Kenzie’s inflatable cow costume was a crowd-pleaser. Everyone laughed and loved her creativity with the idea. 

“I was sitting in [Jeff] Manders [room],” Kenzie said, “and I said, ‘Oh I should dress up as a pig—get a pig onesie,’ and I was texting my friends about it, and someone said, ‘No dress as a cow.’ Then Manders told me I’d have to get one with big udders, so I started looking, and I found one.” 

But the job isn’t all about chanting and getting the crowd pumped up. Kenzie’s role also consisted of keeping tabs on the Instagram page and helping the group with theme ideas. However, she additionally had to deal with the negativity brought on by fellow students who complained about certain themes. 

She also found it tough to make sure students were following the long list of rules provided for proper game etiquette. 

“We couldn’t target any teams,” Kenzie said, “and we were asked by certain schools not to do specific themes against them, along with basic stuff: [no] people throwing things—like trash or paint, no singling out players, no explicit language/chants. The list goes on.”  

Yet, through all the hardships she faces as a section leader, she loves several parts of the job dearly. 

Even though football season is over, Kenzie is still encouraging the other sports teams’ crowds, from basketball to hockey, and she’ll still go all out for the themes. Her experience continues, yet partaking in this job for football keeps the warmest place in her heart. 

“I’ll miss [being student section leader] for football,” Kenzie said, “because that’s a different experience from being at a basketball game. It’s not the same environment. The roles will change, and the basketball games will be more relaxed.” 

Overall, Kenzie’s expectations for this job were very different from what she has experienced so far. Stepping out of her comfort zone, starting chants, and standing in front of the whole school has all been a new and scary experience for her, but she doesn’t regret texting Anna last year asking for this job; it’s been an entertaining chance. 

“It’s a fun experience,” Kenzie said, “Regardless of anything, we’re here to support the team and have fun as a community.”