Seniors Gators cheer on in the swamp

Sean Cotter, Reporter

Each fall, a new senior class comes through LHS taking over the responsibility of Senior Gators.

Every Friday night, Gators have to be at the top of their game, ready to tailgate, cheer as loud as they can, and willing to get a little – or a lot – bit wet.

Whether it’s baby powder being thrown into the air as the boys of Lancer football tear through their sign, or making sure you keep hold of your safety harness while you ride the roller coaster during halftime, Senior Gators is an experience like no other and is one all seniors of LHS will cherish for years to come.

Senior Gators has been a long-standing tradition that has brought Lancer Nation’s school spirit alive. As the years have gone by, seniors have come and gone but Ms. Sullivan, assistant principal and Senior Gator adviser at LHS, has stayed and carried on the tradition that is Senior Gators.

Ten years ago seniors approached Ms. Sullivan and Mr. Elephante, the principal of LHS at the time, and wanted to start a group where seniors could come together, hang out before games and tailgate, and be in charge of the Senior Section .

“Mr. Elephante and I loved the idea,” Sullivan said. “We got it approved and that’s how Senior Gators started.”

Sullivan remains heavily involved in the day-to-day activities that go on within Senior Gators.

“I am a big believer in the tradition that is Senior Gators,” Sullivan said. “I believe it is important to uphold a high standard of sportsmanship and positivity while our fans cheer on our Lancers. I also love the t-shirts.”  

Sullivan’s favorite part of Senior Gators is being able to meet new kids every year and form new relationships with them. It is important to her to give the seniors a chance to make lasting memories with their friends during their final year of high school together.

“Senior Gators is all about giving students an inviting environment where they can come together on Friday nights and be with their friends and participate in all kinds of fun activities before the games,” Sullivan said. “Senior Gators gives kids a place where they can come for good kid fun and have a good time.”

Sullivan is very proud of how far Senior Gators has come in the ten years of its existence and of how the tradition of school spirit has been upheld during her time at LHS.

“The amount of spirit that Lancer Nation shows gives an example of what school spirit is all about,” Sullivan said. “Win or lose Lancer Nation is always there to support our athletes.”

While Ms. Sullivan runs the show outside of the bleachers, the students that make up Senior Gators run the show inside the bleachers. Students are cheering, waving flags, holding up money signs, and sometimes even a cut out of a famous gorilla, and they all do their best to cheer on Lancer Nation.

To Gators, the highlight of most Friday nights doesn’t come during the game, but during halftime.

Once the Lancer band ends their performance, the Gators all take their seat in preparation for the halftime roller coaster. Senior Troy Muldoon makes everyone grab onto their safety harness’, leads the Gators up the hill, and takes the Lancers through a fast pace, sharp turned filled, turbulent, and exciting thirty seconds of cheering and yelling. Once Muldoon throws his hands up in the air, it’s go-time and the Gators are ready for the second half.

“Being the one in charge of the roller coaster during halftime is a blast,” Muldoon said. “It gets everyone amped up for the second half, and I’m glad that I get to run it.”

Senior Gator Dom Federico has been a leader of the Senior Gators fan section this year and has enjoyed his time as a Gator tremendously.

“Senior Gators is something that brings a whole bunch of people together,” Federico said. “Whether you like football or not, all Senior Gators share the same passion of cheering on our boys in blue. The swamp is a place that everyone can all hang out, throw a football around, eat food, and talk. It’s somewhere all seniors are welcomed.  You get to cheer until your vocal cords bleed, and you make new memories every Friday night.”

House 4 AP Ms. Sullivan encourages the Class of 2018 to contact her or current Senior Gator board members if they are interested in sharing new ideas and planning for next year’s tailgating season.