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Falcon Nation stresses inclusivity

Grace Tadajweski l Editor-In-Chief

Falcon Nation! Falcon Nation! Falcon Nation!

While the school year often brings low energy and high workloads for students, the startup of school again also means the return of Falcon Nation.

Falcon Nation, Cedar Crest’s student section, aims to rally the student body together to support their classmates via social media posts, themes, tailgates, and attendance and energetic support at sporting events. This year, Falcon Nation is led by seniors Paige Bucher, Ryan Glover, Malachai Kinlaw, Colden Rambler and Lily Young.

“My favorite part about being a Falcon Nation leader is getting to meet kids from other grades and social groups that I don’t normally get to interact with,” said Young.

Falcon Nation brings together all grade levels over a common enthusiasm to cheer on other students. Recently, Falcon Nation has produced its largest presence at the Friday night football games.

“(My favorite part about being a Falcon Nation leader is) just knowing that we are cheering for our own football teams and knowing that I am a part of something that helps the football team, cheers them on and gives them motivation,” said Rambler. “It’s just a good environment to be in, and I love being in it and leading it.”

Rambler’s goals as a Falcon Nation leader include trying to grow the student section, be the best student section in the Lancaster-Lebanon League and improve the environment for everyone in the stands. Bucher shares similar goals regarding creating a positive and inclusive atmosphere.

“As the leader of Falcon Nation, my goal for this year is to demonstrate what a positive leader looks like for the underclassmen,” said Bucher. “I think it is so important to show others how to cheer on their peers in a positive manner.”

Falcon Nation has largely been communicating information via their Instagram account @cchs.falconnation to grow in numbers although they have also utilized their TikTok account to share fun videos.

“I’m a good person to talk to if you have issues or ideas, and I’m very willing to talk to anyone,” said Kinlaw. “Don’t be afraid to stop and talk to me.”

Kinlaw reflected on a time his freshman year in which students had to be there an hour early to get into the sporting events, for he hopes to revive a similar competitive excitement that makes students truly want to be a part of Falcon Nation.

“I really want to break records and have more people at the games than there were last year,” said Kinlaw.

The Falcon Nation leaders have brainstormed many new ideas this year to carry throughout all three sports seasons. Glover highlighted that the group’s main goal was to bring the energy of Falcon Nation to many sports besides football.

“My favorite part about being a leader has to be the fact that I can incorporate all my ideas to improve the student section that I have had while sitting in it my first three years,” said Glover.

As seniors, the Falcon Nation leaders have been able to gain a strong perspective on what they liked and disliked about their prior years in the student section. This way, the leaders know how to give all students the best experience by placing emphasis on the aspects that matter.

“My favorite part about being a Falcon Nation leader is showing support to all of my classmates,” said Bucher. “We’re definitely the best student section in the LL.”

This past summer, the Falcon Nation leaders worked together to determine their goals and plans for the year. All leaders have emphasized increasing non-football game attendance with Bucher even noting that she would like to get a student section to go to an event for each sport.

“My goal for the student section this year is to create an environment that everybody wants to be a part of and participate in,” said Young. “We want every grade to get involved in themes and have a good time.”

The remaining football game themes include jersey night, camo, red out for Duchenne awareness, pink out for breast cancer awareness, pajamas, gold out for Mini-THON, and white out. Both Young and Bucher favored going all out for the USA themed game.

“(My favorite part about being a Falcon Nation leader is) mostly that I get to get more students involved,” said Kinlaw. “I know in previous years growing up, in high school, a lot of students didn’t get the opportunity to come out, and it wasn’t that fun, so I’m trying to revive a culture before Covid and make it more fun for kids to come out on Friday nights.”

The Falcon Nation leaders are looking to start a new school club which will work alongside Pep club. The club hopes to increase participation and input from all grades.

“We’re looking for new ideas from everybody from school because everyone likes to be a part of something bigger than themselves,” said Kinlaw.

The theme of inclusivity within Falcon Nation carries over into the tailgates as well as they have been open to all grade levels. Due to Covid, the energy and ordeal surrounding tailgates decreased, but, by bringing back games and food, Falcon Nation leaders hope to renew tailgate anticipation and fun.

“It seems weird because seniors always run the student section, but giving other grade levels a chance to show their spirits, we believe, can really improve the morale of our student section,” said Glover.

The addition of new chants and a megaphone this season have also bolstered morale while allowing students to hear the leaders better. Despite motivating energy from the whole student section, both Rambler and Kinlaw agree that the seniors are the best at cheering.

“My favorite cheers are the ones we make on the go for specific players on our team,” said Young. “We like to do as many chants as we can a game, encouraging our players with a name chant or something like that.”

Rambler favors the defense chant and Kinlaw the Falcon Nation chant. The Falcon Nation Leaders have placed a visible significance on celebrating both the band and cheerleaders as they are a vital part of the football games as well.

“My favorite cheer has to be pump it up,” said Bucher. “The cheerleaders and band participate in it as well, and it gets everyone loud.”

Unlike most years, the Cedar Bowl is set for week ten of the football season. However, the typical excitement of playing Cedar Crest’s rival still emanates from the game.

“(I am most looking forward to) the Cedar Bowl white out game because that’s normally the game where we get the most attendance and get a lot more energy than compared to other games,” said Rambler.

While most of the Falcon Nation leaders simply cheer on from the bleachers, Glover is a kicker on the football team and a leader. Because of this, his experience during the fall differs although he will be cheering in the stands for the winter and spring sports seasons.

“As leaders, we do so much to set up for the games, make chants, and get the section hype,” said Glover. “I cannot do any of that thought because I am on the field, so I feel kind of left out as a student section leader and wish I could help more during games.”

After the football season concludes, the leaders do not have plans to stop there. They plan to carryover the energy from the fall into other sports as they create theme schedules and discuss new chants.

“We’re going to keep spreading this positivity with other sports, especially soccer and basketball,” said Kinlaw. “(We want to) try to get students to go to those games (in the winter and spring) to have something they can enjoy throughout the whole year.”

Falcon pride has presented itself so far, and with the fall sports seasons only getting started, there are still plenty of sporting events to attend. Today, the football team has their first game away from Earl Boltz stadium. Be sure to stay updated with Falcon Nation to experience what the hype is all about.

“We put in a lot of work over the summer, and I loved seeing that it was all worth it,” said Bucher.

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