The student cheering section, often referred to as the “Launch Pad,” has stepped up in both attendance and spirit at sports games.
The Launch Pad encourages fans to go all out with the theme that the Spirit Club chooses each week by dressing in outrageous outfits, such as hula skirts for the beach theme, or full-body superman costumes for the superhero theme. The Launch Pad also created new cheers that parents and other McNicholas fans had never seen before, such as the “Rollercoaster,” and the “Hey McNick” cheer.
Now a junior in college, Matthew Hoke was the very first leader of the official Launch Pad. “We were all trying to think of sweet stuff to do for the games because I was going to be leading the student section. That’s when we made up the “Hey McNick” song. We all were real excited for the season to start because we knew if we had a strong student section, it would influence the game and our players so much,” Hoke said.
The Class of 2010 continued the Launch Pad tradition in order to keep up the school spirit and support their sports teams.
“My senior year, the school spirit was valiant. Nobody felt that they had to put the team on their back. The school was alive, and you could tell the difference at the games. Without school spirit, McNick is just another school with uniforms and religion class; we made it more than that,” said Ricky Cmar, Class of 2010.
The Launch Pad has shown support for several sports teams, players, and coaches. They have appeared at not only football games, but soccer and volleyball games, chanting for the coaches and players in an effort to boost their confidence.
“The student section turn-out at the volleyball game [on Aug. 29 vs. Anderson] was very impressive. It seems like it will be like it was two years ago when my daughter Jessica was a senior,” volleyball parent Mr. Steve Danker, father of sophomore Maggie Danker, said.
The Launch Pad expects to continue this level of support throughout each sport season of the school year. “I expect everyone to be loud and crazy, and for everyone to get really into the themes,” senior Launch Pad leader Drew Neihoff said.