There are only 11 football players on the field, but the power and energy that erupts from the fan section each game could be called the 12th man.
Seniors Richard Galbo and Myles McDonald, have attended the football games dressed as Vikings from head to toe for the past two years. You’ve probably seen them standing at the gate during pregame and halftime, chatting it up with Mr. Olsen, or surely in the stands during big plays blowing “The Horn” to stir the crowd.
With helmets and fur borrowed from senior Nolan Liska and his superfan-father James Liska (who you might have seen donning full garb, including a helmet, shield, and Viking horn), the first few rows of the student section are always buzzing with energy when those two and their crew are present.
“It feels cool being a part of our fan section when good things happen, it makes us hype, and Myles blows his horn and I start yelling,” said Galbo.
This is the last year for them both, and when asked if they planned on continuing the tradition, there was no hesitation in the answer.
“We have some disciples. Ryan Whaley is gonna do it, and it’s really just him,” said McDonald.
While Galbo and McDonald are certainly a tidal presence in the fan section, the collective spirit and energy that radiates from the student body is too strong to miss.
“You see most people dressed in Viking gear, whether it’s the horn hats or Viking apparel. That’s really cool. It’s good that people are willing to go above and beyond to show their dedication to the football team and the high school, in general,” said ELVB percussion director Aaron Maddux.
It’s apparent that ELHS has spirit like no other, and the energy without-a-doubt transfers to the stands on game day: with the bright lights, the chilling cold, the watered-down-but-still-tasty hot chocolate, and the wrath of Dalton Franco, Spencer Duthrie, Chris Salemme, and Liam Whaley to watch, the atmosphere isn’t something that fans would want to pass up. It is an exciting spot to be.
“What really stands out most is that [the high school has] created such a good community where everybody is so welcomed and free to express their excitement however they want to express it,” said Mr. Maddux.
If you have yet to cheer in the fan section for a Viking football game, you might not have the opportunity to this season at the home turf. However, don’t fret. The Thanksgiving game is against the Waterford Lancers this year, and if there’s one game all season that’s powered by the 12th man, it’s the rival Turkey game.