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Where is the hype, Flint Hill?

Senior reflects on the the Flint Hill community’s (lack of) school spirit.

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Where is the hype, Flint Hill?

Flint Hill's Hype Club, featured here at the annual Tip-Off Tournament, has lost its vigor and passion, writes senior Zane Homsi.

Flint Hill's Hype Club, featured here at the annual Tip-Off Tournament, has lost its vigor and passion, writes senior Zane Homsi.

Photo Credit: Kavon Akhtar

Flint Hill's Hype Club, featured here at the annual Tip-Off Tournament, has lost its vigor and passion, writes senior Zane Homsi.

Photo Credit: Kavon Akhtar

Photo Credit: Kavon Akhtar

Flint Hill's Hype Club, featured here at the annual Tip-Off Tournament, has lost its vigor and passion, writes senior Zane Homsi.

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I am writing you all today to voice what will likely be one of my last legitimate requests as a Flint Hill School student. This past month has been full of basketball victories, and quite frankly, I must say I am disappointed in our performance as a student section. Dating back to football season of my junior year, which was only a little more than a year ago, our hype section has lost the right to call itself that.

For those of you who were around to remember, there was a time when hype leaders wore kilts, quoted Mel Gibson’s “Braveheart,” and distributed lacrosse pinnies with the words “#huskynation” and “hype” printed in neon. These were the times when our rivalry with Potomac was practically genetic and would fill our gym with enough cheers that the cafeteria windows would vibrate to the beat of the Husky rhythm. The fact that this is no longer the case is somewhat saddening to me.

Students gather for what was one of the most unprecedented turnouts to a basketball game in Flint Hill history.

Photo Credit: Carrol Anderson
Students gather for what was one of the most unprecedented turnouts to a basketball game in Flint Hill history.

“There aren’t anymore Jesse Andersons at the school,” said senior Jack Morrissette, referring to a Flint Hill alumnus remembered for his school spirit. “No one is willing to risk it for the biscuit anymore. There needs to be people willing to take chances for people to really enjoy games… at the end of the day it’s about getting kids excited about what should be the best four years ever.”

Anderson reflected on his time as a Husky and encouraged his predecessors to hype it up:

“Looking back at high school, the most fun I had the entire time I was at FHS was hyping sporting events,” he said. “My advice I would give to all Flint Hill students is to not be afraid to stand out, get loud, and cheer for your team. Do not fear social judgement from your peers. I assure you the memories you’ll make by having a blast at games will be what you remember most from high school.”

I don’t want to get too emotional and passionate on the topic, but perhaps that is what it requires. The greatest participants in an organization are those willing put their reputation aside and do what is best for that group, regardless of its outcomes, such as Martin Luther King Jr. and his incarceration or the student and an amazing student section.

This is not to equate the excitement of high school sports to the righteousness that was the Civil Rights movement, but there is a much more serious consequence to this lack of excitement that is in the Flint Hill student body.

“The fact of the matter is the hype that students bring to our games really does translate to better performance,” said senior and varsity basketball player Tyler Femi. “We had an incredible winning streak towards the end of our season and to walk around the halls and have kids wish us luck when months before they were asking about blazers was an amazing feeling that I will never forget.”

Students gather to cheer on the varsity football team against Potomac this past fall.

Photo Credit: Zane Homsi
Students gather to cheer on the varsity football team against Potomac this past fall.

This lack of vigor is most concerning for it reflects people’s dearth of love for the school. What I am about to say may offend a few people here and there, but it’s part of my plea. You need to be okay with the consequences that come with being passionate about something. You need to be okay with putting yourself out there, getting talked to, losing a few friends and anything else, because this whole passion for something extends far beyond the Flint Hill gym. Keeping quiet about something you’re passionate about is going to get you in a far worse identity crisis than will any punishment an institution can delegate.

The ramifications that come from just letting time roll by are far worse than missing a sporting event. No matter what you are doing, if you don’t like it, you can do one of two things: continue and learn to love it, or change it. The important thing is that you need to be able to do whatever it takes for you to enjoy and represent something. The humility that comes with loving something more than yourself is easily one of the most incredible feelings I have experienced in my life thus far.

Current student at William and Mary College, Jesse Anderson leads the student section at the 2013 Winterfest basketball game.

Photo Credit: Carrol Anderson
Currently a student at William and Mary College, Jesse Anderson leads the student section at the 2013 Winterfest basketball game.

I miss the days when the chests were painted colors, and when there was a sporting event, it was social calamity not to show up. The likes of Anderson, Kevin McNerney and Connor Chess are hard to come by, and while they may have received some hate, their names are still talked about in the halls of Flint Hill as being the peak of school spirit.

During the same weekend as the MAC championships, the Washington Catholic Athletic Council (WCAC) had their basketball championship game with Gonzaga College High School playing DeMatha Catholic High School. While a DeMatha player was taking a free throw, bursting out from an ocean of purple was a Gonzaga student in the tiniest purple bikini I have ever seen. While an instance like this may be extreme, and I am sure someone is getting scolded for that stunt, it was the fact that students were able to sacrifice a little freedom for the sake of everyone else that that school community is so tightly knit. We need the Flint Hill students to not treat themselves as individual threads, but as pieces of the same fabric.

When I was a freshman, I would see pictures of Flint Hill alums at all of their respective colleges still wearing their Homecoming shirts, and still sporting their FHS cotton sweatpants… why?

Because they loved the school.

Students rush the court at the 2013 Winterfest game after an exciting win.

Photo Credit: Carrol Anderson
Students rush the court at the 2013 Winterfest game after an exciting win.

So making a full circle here and getting back to hype, there is one thing that I just hope the students who make up next year’s student body realize. Flint Hill is what you make of it, and so if you only treat it as a place to get a diploma, that is all it will ever be. If you make it a community where you and your friends will go and meet down at the weight room and lift together, or find a special corner of the school that you know is yours, or most obviously treat school-sponsored events as reasons to celebrate your youth with everyone else that shares that reality, it will become a place filled with the most fond memories of your childhood. Take it from someone who has seen Flint Hill at its peak and won’t have the luxury of calling himself a student next year.

It honestly pains me to have to think that I will have to sign in as a visitor to my home in the fall of this year, so if you are reading this and are lucky enough be able to have more time in blue and green, don’t waste it. Get out there, scream until your vocal chords are withered to threads, clap until you look down and know the next time you clap the blood will rush out of your fingertips when we win the game, and in a few months, when I walk onto the stage as a senior and walk off as an alumnus, I will be holding that diploma up for not just me, but for everyone that helped me along my journey.

Don’t let yourself spend the rest of your high school career regretting it. Flint Hill is what you make of it.

Make it your home because it sure is mine.

 

Best,

Zane (Class of 2015)

 

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1 Comment

One Response to “Where is the hype, Flint Hill?”

  1. anna ruffle on March 5th, 2015 7:24 pm

    i love flint hill. i just don’t like attending sporting events, because really loud, crowded spaces are not my favorite spaces to be in.

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Where is the hype, Flint Hill?