Before the boys’ varsity basketball game against SM West Jan. 15, senior student section leaders George Colby, Henry Churchill, Matt Erdner, Jack Tyler and Charlie Jensen danced along the court holding four flags that spelled out EAST followed by one with the lancer logo. The flags, which are 7 feet wide and 5 feet tall, were waved in front of the student section as the crowd danced and chanted in anticipation for the game.
Amongst the excited crowd was senior Taylor Sawalich, one of the Pep Club student executives who assisted in making the idea of having spirit flags at games a reality.
“Everyone was on their feet cheering and it made me happy to know that Pep Club helped in getting the student section pumped up,” Sawalich said.
The idea was first proposed by assistant principal Britton Haney. He found that spirit flags were something that he and the Pep Club members had seen at other games and were something that East used to have. When Haney brought up the idea, the members were immediately on board and excited to fund and resurge the old tradition.
“I thought it was pretty cool,” Haney said. “We had some guys who aren’t on the basketball team but got to run out with the team, and it was just a nice reward that we could give to some of our guys and girls.”
To senior flag runner Matt Erdner, this opportunity was as much a chance to represent his student body as it was a reward.
“Running the flags is awesome,” Erdner said. “We get to lead the team out of the locker room — and it doesn’t get much better than that. It feels awesome running out in front of the whole gym and really makes me feel like I’m a part of something special.”
After this basketball season, Pep Club will actively be searching for boys and girls who would like to run the flags across the football field after touchdowns. The flags are very light and easy to carry according to Haney, so he and Pep Club hope that this new tradition will help include more people at events and bring more people together.
“We have some very enthusiastic members of the Lancer Nation who cheer on their teams in a very positive manner, and we are always looking to add to that,” Haney said.