By: Laura Batten
Newnan High School’s student section is about more than just being loud. For many students at NHS, the student section is a way to show their pride and gratitude for the school while creating memories that will last a lifetime.
A lot of thinking goes into Newnan’s spirited student section. Before the start of the season, seniors get together to decide on dress up themes for every football game, both home and away.
Some themes are set based on the mascots of the opposing team. For example, our rival game against East Coweta High is always Cowboys vs Indians, Lagrange is always “redneck” and homecoming is always guys in ties and girls in pearls.
Once the themes have been decided upon, the list is sent out to the underclassmen via social media. As local stores are swamped by high school students, the hunt for costumes begin. The tradition continues, and every Friday night, the Drake Stadium is jam-packed with students in outrageous attire.
This year, students have started a new tradition in order to help cheer on the Cougars. Seniors have begun making and then taping fat heads of senior football players to the rails of the student section, so when players catch a break on the sideline, they can turn and see their faces and everyone’s support.
Dalton Byrom, NHS senior and Cougar tight end, says that due to this support “playing at home is one of [his] favorite things” about playing football.
Ellie Waters, NHS senior and 2015 Homecoming Queen, thinks of the student section as a “family.” She said that family is “the first word that comes to mind when I think about our section. No matter how different we all are, we come together on Friday nights to be in that same place, cheering on the same team. There’s something about that which binds us together and makes us all a part of the Cougar Family.”
Some look to Friday nights in the student section with their friends as a way to release their energy and stress from the week.
“Aside from watching the boys play, the student section was my favorite thing about Friday nights,” said Maysen Willard, a senior softball player at Newnan. “It was what I looked forward to and what got me through the week. I knew that I’d get to yell my heart out with some of the greatest friends I’ll ever have.”
Trevor Roberts, NHS senior, decided to take it one step further. Every game, he brought his GoPro camera to capture the moments in the student section, and some of his GoPro shots would become an iconic representation of the student section’s spirit.
“The experience of being in these stands is something you don’t find at any school,” Roberts explained. “I wanted to be able to try and capture the essence the best I could, so I decided I’d take a shot at every game.”
Being a senior in the student section is a huge privilege and responsibility, and some see it as a right of passage. Freshman, who must stand in the very back of the section, spend their first year yearning to be cheering on the boys from the front row of the Drake like their upperclassmen counterparts.
The junior class spends their third year taking a more increased role in the responsibility of leading the student section and anxiously awaits to be at the top of the Cougar food chain.
Sara Ivey Fulmer, NHS junior, said that she is “so excited for next year. I’ve spent three years waiting to be in the very front row, leading the chants.”
Mason Hamlin, NHS junior, says he “can’t wait to lead the rest of the student section.”
Students, however, aren’t the only ones who are proud of the spirit and excitement that they bring on Friday Nights. Dr. Chase Puckett, Principal of Newnan High School, typically captures a photo of the student section every game and tweets out an emblem of Cougar pride for everyone to see.
When people look back on their time in high school, a lot of things come to mind, but if you’re a Newnan High graduate, one of the first things you’re going to think of are the nights you spent cheering on the football team while surrounded by some of the best people who just so happen to have also been your classmates.