From mascots to marching bands, cheerleaders to cheering sections, students show love for their alma mater’s athletics in a variety of ways. The definition of being a great and effective fan is one that knows how to cheer on their team to a victory and they know how to put a little fear in the opponent and the opponent’s fans. The Swarm at Bryant High School leads the way in BHS school spirit.
The Swarm was founded in 2003 and is a student led spirit group that attempts to support all sport teams at Bryant High School. “We do our best to build school spirit and pride in the student body at Bryant High School. All the clubs at Bryant are encouraged to do at least one community service activity, one school service activity and one teacher appreciation activity.
The Swarm plans/organizes all the pep assemblies and paints spirit banners to hang at school, in the gym and at the football field. Swarm plans activities for the student section at games and organizes “themes” for the games as well,” Janet Watson, sponsor of The Swarm, said. A Twitter page was started to keep BHS students updated on sports, signings, scholarships and accomplishments of the student athletes.
A couple of the community service projects that The Swarm are involved in include the Christmas Adopt a Child and the largest community service activity is the Salt Bowl Blood Drive and the Spring blood drive with the Red Cross. The Swarm began the blood drive in 2011. Since that time, 1,293 units of blood have been collected per the Red Cross. “Since each unit can help up to three people in need, that equates to 3,879 patients that have been helped,” Mr. Stribling of the Red Cross stated.
“The Red Cross generously gives BHS scholarship money based on the number of units of blood donated. In the past 5 years with the help of the Red Cross, Swarm has been able to award $11,000 in scholarship money to Bryant students. FCCLA has partnered with Swarm the last 2 years as the Blood Drive continues to grow,” Mrs. Watson concluded.
The history of the school mascot began in early intercollegiate sports in the 1800’s. Schools needed a way to set their school apart and develop an air of uniqueness. The very first mascots appeared at Ivy League schools, like Yale, Harvard, and Brown. The phenomenon grew and school mascots quickly became household names and proud identifiers.
Buzz, the iconic hornet, clad in the blue suit with bulging eyes, long antennas, blue tights, and a stinger, can step out onto the field or the court of play and make the crowd explode with excitement. One of the main goals of The Swarm over the past couple of years was to obtain a new and improved mascot costume. Per Mrs. Watson, the new costume is not made of fur and there is a fan system in the head of the costume to help the costume be more breathable. The Swarm sold soda, water, and Gatorades at the Homecoming dance over the past several years in order to assist purchasing the new Buzz costume.
Charles Terry, 2016 Bryant High School Senior, was the 2015-2016 school year Swarm president and left a lasting legacy with The Swarm. “This 2016 year I had teachers approach me after pep-rallies and compliment me on their execution and how much they stood out compared to ones in years past,” Terry said.
“The meaning of school spirit to me is community, yes the classes have competitiveness to it and we all have fun and get wild and crazy, but with the Friday night lights shining down on you or the gym floor thundering with basketballs, I never felt closer to my classmates then I did at pep rallies, and sporting events. It forces all of us, everyone in Bryant on the same team. There are no differences, we’re all just Hornets and we just want to have fun seeing what we do best, winning,” Terry concluded.
Join the 2,000 plus followers on the Twitter feed @BryantSwarm and see what Hornet spirit is all about.