The fanatical AHS student section, “The Jungle,” is ready to howl during the current basketball season, aiming to surpass the previous years.
This year, the Jungle is full of surprises. “We are going to have themed games, new energy, more underclassmen, and new cheers. It will be unlike any other fan section you have ever seen before,” said Chris Tully, head student of the Jungle.
“We want everyone to be involved this year from the beginning of the season,” says Grace Perigaut, another head student of the Jungle. “For example, we want to try out games at half-time, where people would be able to win prizes.” To get more students interacting while they are at the basketball games, there will be fun contests and challenges.
Everyone who enters the Jungle is a crucial member of the “Jungle community.” It is a place where all students can come together and have fun cheering for the Warriors in a safe environment. Grace O’Hara, a freshman who entered the Jungle during the volleyball season, said, “It was a fun experience to be a part of the Jungle. It was so crowded, with at least 100 students sitting in the bleachers, and I had to be cognizant in order to see the players.”
The Jungle increases school spirit during the sports events. It welcomes the freshmen and encourages them to make new friends by coming to a variety of games. “The Jungle triumphantly sold more T-shirts to the freshman and sophomore classes than they did in the previous year,” said Tully.
The Jungle is a sea of yellow. Students have to climb over each other to get into the stands, and all their chants echo tremendously. A visitor to a basketball game will see girls wearing blue and gold face paint, fans waving handmade signs, a cut-out of Coach Fazio’s face going around the Jungle, and fans uniformly wearing gold Jungle T-shirts. At every game, there is one favorite chant repeated again and again that creates instant energy and hope: “I believe that we will win; I believe that we will win!”
Sydney Ferry, senior, said, “I always go to the Jungle events because it is like a Beyonce concert. It is crowded and when I look to my left there are people as sweaty as the players on the court and students look wild-eyed and focused.”
Student sections separate themselves not only by their chants and numbers but by their ability to raise the level of play on the court. This year, the basketball season is going to be a successful one if the team works together. Coach Fazio said, “I 100% love the Jungle. Nothing good is ever accomplished without enthusiasm.” The Jungle helps to build this enthusiasm.
The Jungle is important to the individuals on the basketball team, too. Connor Merinder, senior basketball player, said, “I really appreciate the Jungle coming to our game. Faz asks us to thank the Jungle after coming to our game and we tweet at them.”
By Xonatia Lee