“Whose house? G-House!” The chanting rings throughout the stadium on a Friday night as the varsity football team runs down the field towards another touchdown. However, the football players are not the only people responsible for the spectacular display of school spirit. “The Jungle” brings together over 800 Granada Hills Charter High School (GHCHS) students to support its athletes at football, basketball, and volleyball games.
This year, seniors Mathew Quintero, Sean Lee and Mason Thomas have taken the responsibility of leading the Jungle and ensuring that everyone has a great time at the games. There have been new additions to games to bolsters school spirit including the drumline performing in front of the crowd, unique themes, and several beach balls being tossed around during half time.
“I’m proud to have and show my school spirit every week and I think everyone should too. Granada is ranked the tenth school in the nation and first in California. We’re supposed to be proud of that and I’m glad that we do get to see so much school spirit at every game,” Quintero said.
Unfortunately, every year the Jungle receives its fair share of criticism, and this year is no different. Quintero and Lee have had several complaints about the lack of room to sit, the inaudible chants from those higher up in the bleachers, and the annual issue of senior priority within the student section.
“One of the biggest things we tried to emphasize both over summer and now is that the Jungle is a student section and not a senior section. It’s whoever comes first to the game. So far, the people who have motivated to get there first have been getting the best seats because they wanted to support their team,” Lee said.
The Jungle leaders are handling the criticism considerably well and have searched for solutions for the problems over the past few weeks by working towards perfecting the homecoming game on October 16. However, the Jungle also gets commended for its work through all the positive responses they receive from students.
“When there’s a game with a crowd of over 800 people, it’s already impressive to get that big of a turn out and we had more people who loved the game than those that hated the game. After all, we can’t please everyone,” Lee said.
Quintero also believes that the Jungle’s energy depends on the crowd and the team. However, it is completely up to the students to show their school spirit and keep the hype up regardless of how well or poorly the team plays.
“It also depends on who we’re playing. When there’s a school rivalry like with Kennedy, the crowd is much more hyped up than other teams like Canoga Park and Palisades,” Quintero said.
Quintero and Lee are happy with the Jungle’s game presence so far. With only two home football games left in the season, they hope to increase school spirit even further.
“In comparison to the previous years’ Jungle leaders, I feel that we’re more organized and motivated this year. We’re bringing our own brand new mark on the Jungle. We’re just here to have fun and make this year the best it can be,” Lee said.