Horde Board works to bring back student excitement at sports games
As the clock strikes 8:30 on an early Tuesday morning, Horde Board co-president Carson Langston brings to order the first of many meetings to come. The topic on hand: restoring school spirit to its former glory.
For years, many ESD students believed that the school had one of the most energetic and spirited student bodies in the DFW area, however, much of this spirit has been lost over the past two years because of lockdowns and restrictions caused by the Covid-19 pandemic. According to a Sept. 20 poll of 174 students, 39 percent of students said that they believed school spirit was on the decline prior to the pandemic.
In an attempt to rebuild the spirit, seniors Carson Langston, Lauren Sedwick and Charlie King created the Horde Board, a student organization created to maximize school spirit. This year’s presidents are hoping to push spirit into every facet of the community, making the student body closer than ever. So far, the Horde Board has created multiple social media accounts dedicated to informing students about upcoming festivities, organized game dress themes and begun brainstorming new traditions, all of which they hope is just the beginning.
“I think the majority of the student body would agree that spirit is a huge part of what makes ESD,” Sedwick said. “We really want to make sure that the entirety of each grade is represented and feels comfortable coming to every game and is excited about every game. We also want to make sure everyone is getting information about themes, games and anything else via social media or Schoology so that everyone feels included.”
In the past, the senior class has been responsible for maintaining and cultivating school spirit, both at games and in school, but when King saw the lack of devotion and excitement for this cause last year, he took matters into his own hands, much to the annoyance of his older peers.
“Every year, the senior class makes a large Facebook group that everyone in the upper school is invited to join for the purpose of announcing sports games and cultivating spirit,” King said. “Last year, the seniors made a Facebook group and didn’t tell anyone, so I decided to make my own and invite everyone. I felt like it was my job to step up to the plate and unite the school considering it was my older brother who started the Facebook group tradition, and I wasn’t going to sit idly by and watch the tradition die. In the end, I think [the class of 2021] was just mad because more people joined our group than theirs.”
Not only was the pandemic and loss of spirit detrimental to the overall wellbeing of the student body, but it also greatly affected players on the sports field. Until the late spring, only parents and families were allowed in the stands to view home games, which proved problematic for the morale of all athletes.
“Having fans brings more purpose to the games,” varsity football captain and senior Ryan Ainsworth said. “The players want to be out there more and we as a team feel more rewarded for all of our work during the week when we score and can look over at a rowdy student section getting just as hype as we are.”
The 2019-2020 school year was interrupted several times due to the fire, the tornado and the pandemic while 2020-2021 was interrupted by the pandemic and the snow storm. The senior class is the only grade in the high school that has experienced an uninterrupted, normal year: their freshman year. As a result, many (themselves included) feel the seniors are responsible for reintroducing many fun school traditions that the other grades may have forgotten about or not even experienced at all.
“It’s crazy to think that half of the high school has not experienced many traditions like the upperclassmen have,” sophomore and Horde Board member Addie Click said. “It’s a weird feeling because it’s your second year in high school, so you feel like you should be used to everything, but in reality, you haven’t even had a normal high school year. Being a member of the Horde Board, I’m excited to bring the spirit back to my grade and the rest of the school community while also taking part in traditions that many may have forgotten about.”