They screamed. They chanted. They cheered. They sang. They rocked the bleachers for the entire football game.
But they also tossed handfuls of flour, talcum powder, and glitter into the night sky amid their exuberance, dousing other spectators and the marching band (and instruments), which also made for potentially slippery bleachers last Friday night.
Which is why Green Valley High School Principal Jeff Horn suspended members of the well-organized student cheering group, the Instigators, for their stunt, the Las Vegas Sun reported.
But the students from the Henderson, Nev., school insist it was all harmless fun to show school spirit.
"We were just doing it to hype up our team," student Andrew Quintana told KTNV-TV in Las Vegas. "It's playoffs now."
Before Green Valley’s victory Friday night, about 60 students chanted "I Believe That We Will Win" — a rousing cadence that originated with Utah State students, the Sun reported, and has been adopted by other student cheering groups.
Check out Utah State's version; it makes for quite the sight and sound:
After the cheer, the Green Valley Instigators threw their wares into the air. "We just brought out some flour, some colored wax crystals and just threw them in the air," student Karch Williams told KTNV. "It looked pretty cool."
Not to Horn, however. The Instigators told KTNV that 19 of them got suspension notices citing a campus disturbance that last from one to three days depending on who was spotted throwing the flour/powder/glitter, etc.
"I think we should have got community service or just a detention," student Ty Burger told KTNV, adding to the Sun that the Instigators "did it as a statement to pump up Green Valley, not to harm anyone.”
“The kids think we are squashing their enthusiasm, which isn’t true. We love the fact they are cheering,” Horn told the Sun. “They aren’t bad kids. But they need to learn some things aren’t appropriate.”
Horn had cautioned students to keep their cheering in the camp of good fun; the suspension was the next step, he told the Sun, especially considering the group smuggled flour bags and water bottles filled with powder and flour into the game.
The Instigators are known to travel to road games and bring more students than the host schools have in attendance, the Sun reported.
And Horn would appear to be one of their big supporters, as he led an effort to make it affordable for them to travel to Reno, Nev., two years ago when the basketball team made the state tournament, the Sun added.
“I love having them support our athletic teams. It’s a great thing to have,” Horn said. “There is a time and place for everything, and when they cross that line, we need to address it as a school.”
"This is the first time we've every done anything like this," Burger told KTNV. "And it's obviously our last. I don't think we'll ever do that again."
Ty Burger (Image source: KTNV-TV)
While the suspensions have an end point, the violations will be on the students' school records, the Sun reports, which doesn't sit well with students, either.
“This could look bad for college interviews,” Burger added to the Sun. “I don’t know how I would explain that. I guess I would tell them I got suspended for having school spirit.”
Here's a report from KTNV-TV:
And one from KSNV-TV in Las Vegas: