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Cardinal Crazies: Then & Now

Video Courtesy of SLHS Alum Landon Bray

Bailey Fultz and Connor Burns

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I’m sure you’ve heard the rumblings over the intercom or the chatter throughout the hallways in anticipation of upcoming games and events that will take place as hundreds of students gather together and become the pep section. There have been student sections in years past at South Laurel, but in 2014 things would take a turn leading to the birth of something that goes way beyond coming to a game to cheer on friends and classmates: the Cardinal Crazies.

Prior to 2014, South Laurel had a few years of student participation within the student section, but in recent years, the number of students who attended dropped drastically. Things changed in 2014 when a group of seniors and a few eager underclassmen took helm of a project that would lead to what is now known as the top ranked student section in the state, the Cardinal Crazies. Bringing back school spirit to a place that desperately craved to return to the days of Steve Wright, Ty Proffitt, Walt Allen, (all whom played major roles in winning the 2005 basketball state championship), would be no easy task, but nothing was unattainable for the likes of Landon Bray, Aaron Quinn (two class of 2014 seniors), and eventual hundreds of students within the school. Initially, their attempts at restoring school pride had a slow, but nonetheless encouraging, start by bringing out roughly 60 students for the first home basketball game of the season. After the first few home games, the student section exploded and there wasn’t a day that passed that you didn’t hear about the upcoming games and what you’d be wearing to them. The senior leaders of the student section took notice of this and picked up their effort recruiting students even more. Days before big games, at least one of the seniors were always coming into classes announcing the game, working the lunchroom to inform students about the game, and even taking up shirt orders so that the majority of the student section would be matching.

The seniors goal was to ‘Black out the gym’ and theoretically they knew that was impossible but I don’t think they expected to see what would unfold on game day. School was cancelled the day of the game and I remember the leaders of the student section being worried that we wouldn’t have good turnout. Hours before the game we showed up and proceeded to have things ready for that night, WYMT arrived and began to set up all the TV equipment as the South Laurel/Corbin matchup was announced as the “WYMT Game of the Week”. Students began to flow in at a rapid pace and by tip off, almost the entire visitors side was filled with black-out shirts. Come to find out, the student section was bigger than it had ever been before and the head count reached over 600 students. The turnout would lead South Laurels campaign at student section of the year, and pride bloomed throughout our building and community.

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