(Photo courtesy of Dale Pyoun)
Palos Verdes Peninsula High School

Opinion: It takes a team to be a good zookeeper

To the average person, the term zookeeper is vague. It sounds familiar but it also has a sense of foreignness to its name. Yet, at Palos Verdes Peninsula High, the term “zookeeper” has much more meaning and recognition. Why? It is because this very “zookeeper” has to manage the student section of Peninsula deemed the Zoo. Not an easy task considering a few hundred students show up to every game.

As an official zookeeper for this year, I cannot express my joy at fulfilling this position. Never would I have imagined four years ago as a freshman that I would hold such an important position for the school. Having led my first game this past Friday at Peninsula’s football game against North High, I have experienced first-hand the responsibilities that my job necessitates. Sure, it was nerve-wracking and managing the students was a little stressful. Yet, the role of leading a spirited student section was like none other and the vigor of the students became more than enough reason for me to know that this year will be worthwhile.

Wearing a safari vest with a safari hat and khaki shorts, I have full control of the Zoo alongside my other Zookeeper. Attending a school where regulations are not heavily enforced, we are able to regulate things and administrators do not interfere with the students during the games. This is incredibly helpful as it offers a comforting environment for fellow members of Peninsula High.

So what exactly does it take to become a zookeeper? Loudness. You’ve got to be loud at every game. As a freshman, I remember I would scream chants and lose my voice every game. While I wasn’t being considered as a zookeeper then, I had fun showing my spirit for the school. People notice the little things and being loud for three years helped me achieve this position. To become a zookeeper, one has to apply for the position as a junior and be interviewed by senior members of ASB, which included the past zookeepers. Luckily for me, I was able to obtain this position by showing my spirit and enthusiasm.

With the next game (our fourth) kicking off this Friday, I am incredibly excited to be a zookeeper this year. Having had a few games under my belt, I know I have higher expectations than last time and this game will be one to remember. I have big responsibilities as a leader and I know that the Zoo will not disappoint; we are full of spirit and ready for the next game.