Behind the scenes of the Jungle

A small group of students known as the Jungle Club help coordinate and organize the student section at football and basketball games

Cal Petersen, Staff Writer

Regardless of the opponent, the weather, or the final score of the game, the student section at football and basketball games, better known as the Jungle, can always be counted on to deliver that famous Golden Lion pride. Whether home or away, hundreds of students sit together at every game and dress up in a certain theme for that week’s competition. But how does everyone know what the theme of the game is that week? Who picks the theme? How do we make sure our theme doesn’t conflict with the opposing school’s?

The answer to these questions is the Jungle Club. While everyone is familiar with the Jungle, the best student section in Georgia, not many know about the Jungle Club, who plan and take care of a lot of behind-the-scenes work. 

This year’s group is made up of 12 seniors: Caroline Shea, Izzy Stroth, Gianna Zammuto, Hannah Willis, Kathryn Thomas, Elizabeth Pentecost, Caroline Gray, Ellie Van Arkel, Molly Hegarty, Hailey Miller, Spencer Boykin, and Parker Timmons. The faculty moderator is the Director of Advancement Mrs. Jenn Sedlack.   

“There was still an opening [for a faculty moderator], so I offered to take it over,” Mrs. Sedlack said. “It’s a nice way to interact with students.”

The biggest job they have is to come up with themes for each football and basketball game, which involves a lot more work than you might expect. For example, the club has to contact other schools to make sure we don’t have conflicting themes.

“It’s a hard process,” Miller said. “We normally have to find someone that goes there on Instagram and then get through to a cheerleader.” 

The process is even more complicated when it’s discovered that another school has the same theme that the Jungle was planning.

“When schools have the same theme as us, we have to completely change our theme before the game,” Miller said.

This is exactly what happened back in August when the theme of the Dunwoody game got changed at the last-minute from “Hawaiian” to “rodeo.”

The Jungle Club also helps students know what they are and aren’t allowed to bring to the games.

According to Mrs. Sedlack, “There are GHSA regulations that say you can’t have whistles, a boombox, or a megaphone.”

This helps students avoid trouble with the school and also helps the players and referees focus on the game instead of other noises in the background.

Finally, the Jungle Club is also responsible for organizing a new Jungle t-shirt design each year. This year’s bright yellow shirt was designed by senior Carolynn Bui, and they’ve now become a staple of spirit wear days throughout the year.

So the next time you’re cheering at a football or basketball game, remember that a lot of planning and preparation goes on behind the scenes to help make the Jungle such a fun experience.