By day, they look just like any of the other students walking the halls of CHS; however, on Friday nights, it is a different story completely as Grayland Jackson, Alan Schulte, and Jaden Pyburn, otherwise known as the Smoke Starters, take to the bleachers.
“The three of us are the leaders of the student section. We looked at those who came before us with the Tribal Council…Jesse Luker and Travis Hickman…then there were the Bleacher Creatures led by Jaden’s brother, Sean. We just thought that we wanted to pick the spirit up for CHS. People just don’t seem to think it is cool to cheer for their teams at pep rallies or games,” Grayland began.
“And we want to change that!” Jaden was quick to add.
And whether they know it or not, they slowly are doing just that, and I should know since I am on the field every Friday night and see just how hard they are working.
“I think someone just had to stand up first and go for it…” Grayland trailed off as another picked up the conversation.
“That way no one else felt like he was the only one cheering,” Alan finished the thought.
But when I interjected with how good I thought it all looked, I learned immediately from all three that they are not satisfied yet, not by a long shot.
“Did you look at the other side of the field?” Alan asked, speaking of the Clyde game.
“Yeah,” Jaden added. “There were a good 30-40 students over there, with coordinated cheers and all. We only have a few…” he trailed off again.
“So what can we do to help you,” I asked the trio.
“We think it would be a great thing if the school would take a bus each week. When we do that, it is always full, and we think a big crowed would actually affect the outcome of the game,” all three added at once, letting me know that this was something they had all given a great deal of thought.
It was at this point that I realized that three of the most spirited, most outstanding students that I know are actually a little discouraged, which I must admit surprised me greatly. They seem so completely FULL of school spirit each time I see them. So….we changed my planned course of our interview.
“First of all, let’s think about it all,” I said. “Tell me why you keep doing this week after week if you are discouraged.”
“The players put their whole lives into this. They give all of their time and effort, and they deserve at least three idiots out their yelling their heads off,” Grayland smiled.
“Of course, it’s not just the kids we need. We need adults to join with us as well,” said the other two.
“We look like we’re having fun because we are, but we do need more people to join with us,” Jaden put in.
And then Alan laughed, “I’m sure we all look like idiots, but we really do have a great time.”
Of that I have no doubt! They ride together to the games, making each week a new adventure. AND…don’t think they are only about football, or all of them will correct you at once!
“We not only cheer at football games, but also at volleyball games, and basketball games. We want every voice in the stands…any able voiced person to come to the student section”
And with the big smiles that I expect from these three, they all added, “You can’t miss us! We’re the ones in the headdresses!”
And here’s your lecture from Texans United, if you aren’t helping these guys out on Friday nights, why not join them? They need you, and they guarantee you a good time to boot!