The 2023 student section leaders make the sacred football stands their own


Sydney Ashcroft

a photo of this years student section at tailgate.

Friday night football games are one of the most iconic and beloved traditions at FHC. Whether you’re a football player tirelessly playing for the win, a cheerleader on the sideline entertaining the crowd, or a student cheering at the top of your lungs, everyone has a part to play to make these nights flow gracefully. 

One under-appreciated, yet vital, aspect of the crowd’s consistency, hype, and atmosphere is the student section leaders. This year, the 2023 student section leaders are seniors Frankie Sutton, Graham Bennett, Dailey Tucker, and Anthony Ott. 

These four have a slew of responsibilities to balance alongside simply attending the football games: running social media accounts, picking the themes, and arguably one of the hardest jobs of keeping the student section in line. 

“One of the hardest parts is when we are trying to keep the student section in check,” Dailey said. “We had meetings at the beginning of the year to discuss some of the rules that we had to enforce this year, [such as] the fence, making sure our chants are appropriate, stuff like that, but people don’t always want to listen, and it can be hard when that responsibility falls to us.”

Fellow student section leader Anthony agrees with Dailey in that making sure the students are following through with their job during the game is a crucial part of the success of the student section. 

However, aside from the slight retaliation surrounding following some of the new rules this season, Anthony feels that the students’ and student section leaders’ main focus is to stay excited throughout the entire game. 

“Staying positive the whole game can be difficult sometimes,” Anthony said. “But keeping the energy up, being around your friends, talking to people—it’s a lot of fun—and as the student section leaders, it’s kind of our job to give an example of staying positive.” 

In order to achieve this positive vibe in the student section, the chants—led by the student section leaders—are extremely important. This is the moment when students have the opportunity to be as loud as they possibly can in hopes the opposing student section and the football team might hear their encouraging and confident words. 

This year, in addition to coming up with a few new chants to try out, Frankie and Dailey were determined to switch up tradition and start calling the chants themselves. 

I actually have such a fun time calling the chants, just being super loud, and getting everyone involved.

“Traditionally, in the past, Dailey and I noticed that mainly it was always the boys who would call the chants,” Frankie said. “So this year, we made a point to make sure we would call some or most of them, and I actually have such a fun time calling the chants, just being super loud, and getting everyone involved.” 

In addition to calling the chants, they also came up with a plan so that people would know when to stop chanting. This new idea has successfully avoided embarrassment for that one person who always says the cheer one extra time when everyone else has stopped. 

“There are a lot of little things that we have added this year to fix some of the problems we noticed in the past,” Frankie said. “One of the main issues we noticed was people not knowing when to stop chanting, so this year I always hold up my hand and count down how many times we say the cheer, and it’s definitely helped with some of the confusion.” 

Similar to how Frankie and Dailey each have their personal responsibilities with the chants, fellow student section leader Graham has his own tasks at the football games. 

You will often see Graham head down onto the track at half-time to carry out a classic FHC student section tradition: the roller coaster. 

“We all have our own responsibilities at the games,” Graham said. “Aside from making sure everyone is following the rules, the main thing that we try to focus on with all of our chants, and everything we do, is just making sure it’s a fun time and that we’re supporting our team.” 

The student section is what middle schoolers look at longingly, and it’s where seniors share their final and favorite memories. It’s a time when flour coats your hair, glitter introduces itself to every crevice of your body, and you yell so loud you lose your voice, all in the name of school spirit; none of that would be possible without the four student section leaders who run it. 

Friday nights standing under the bright lights—in all forms of questionable weather—is where you will find the enthusiastic students of FHC. 

“As a student section leader we have to go to all of the games,” Dailey said. “But, I love going to all the games, and I encourage everyone to. When I was a freshman, I remember being embarrassed to yell and get really excited, but now that is all I do and I have such an amazing time doing it.”