The Jungle has people that are a bit crazy about Andover High School. The kids in Andover High go crazy at basketball games. They cheer loudly and that makes the team very happy. Throughout the year, the Jungle has been organizing fun events and activities. For example, they helped hold a tailgate before a football game earlier last fall. Though the Andover Youth Council came up with the idea of having a tailgate, the Jungle helped promote it. At the tailgate, they had food, which Dr. Lord thought “was very good.”
According to Shannon Taylor, who is one of the five Jungle leaders, “Basketball is [their] main focus.” A few Fridays ago, everyone had great fun at the Andover versus Endicott basketball game. The Jungle helped increase Andover’s school spirit. There was a fan section where a lot of Andover students were happy and excited while cheering on the team. Because it was a home game, the Jungle told everyone to wear their white “Jungle” shirts to show support.
Nick Valeri, another leader of the Jungle, says they are currently working with Pazzo Gelato, the gelato place next door to Chipotle in North Andover. The Jungle is hoping to make it the “official sponsor and hangout place” for the Andover Warriors and their supporters, and “make gelato flavors off of Warrior stuff.” Nick says that eventually on Sundays, “if you wear your Jungle stuff you get 15% off your order.” Nick continues, “on some days we’re going to have it where if you come on a Thursday night the week before the game, 15% of the total profit for the day will go to [something] like the fan bus.” Shannon adds in, “We really want fan buses because it makes it more fun to go [to away games]” because “not a lot of people usually go to the away games unless for the Christmas Tournaments or playoff games.”
The Jungle is always a great support for Andover Warriors at their games. At the Christmas tournament on January 10, the Jungle won an award for being the best fan section in the Commonwealth area. Recently, the Jungle cheered on the Andover team at TD Garden at their game against Brookline. Andover played an awesome team, but thanks to great players and the Jungle’s enthusiasm, Andover won.
In the future, Nick and Shannon hope for the tailgate becoming a tradition. Whether through helping organize activities like the tailgate, or cheering on Andover sports teams, the Jungle’s main goal is to “to show that we are one community and we can all have fun.”
By Michael Briggs and Ian Howard Angles