Red Rage Passes Down Tradition of School Spirit


Stefani Zeiger

Students cheer for the Mustang football team during their game against Elgin-Larkin.

Alex Loding, News Editor

“I… I believe… I believe that… I believe that we… I believe that we will win!”

The “I Believe” chant is a fan favorite and popular chant at every sporting event led by MHS’s student section, Red Rage, a club whose members aim to attend as many sporting events as possible in order to lead chants and support the school’s athletes.

Besides providing fun and excitement at school games, Red Rage also has developed another key tradition. For the last six years, the leadership of Red Rage is passed down from the previous generation to four new senior leaders (two boys and two girls) each year.

Seniors who show interest in being a Red Rage leader are placed on a ballot and then voted on by their fellow seniors.

Jake Breitenreiter, one of the new senior Red Rage leaders for 2015-16, mentioned that the leaders were chosen the week of the red/white scrimmage, which is also their first opportunity to be Red Rage leaders.

“It’s an honor to lead Red Rage during my senior year,” said Breitenreiter.

With Breitenreiter, Charlie Volpe, Kelly Sloot and Kelly Vander Ploeg will be the other Red Rage leaders.

“I’m very passionate about supporting our sports teams, so I was super excited when I found out I have the opportunity to lead MHS in supporting our athletes,” said Vander Ploeg.

The new leaders will have the responsibilities of leading chants, organizing themed dress codes for sporting events, and getting the Mustang fans active and involved in cheering during home sporting events.

“I was really excited when I found out I was a Red Rage leader,” said Volpe. “I love going to school games and supporting our teams as much as possible.”

Along with leading the chants, the Red Rage leaders need to get fans out to the sporting events.

“Encouraging other students to attend the games as much as possible is a big responsibility. We try to get as many people as we can to all the games,” said Volpe.

Big crowds lead to lots of noise for the team playing.

“Typically football games have the largest attendance because it happens on a Friday night, and everyone looks forward to the games,” said Breitenreiter. “I love leading the rollercoaster [chant] because it gets the entire crowd involved and pumped up.”

Getting fans to come out to games and having everyone following the dress code theme requires behind-the-scenes work from the leaders and a committee of students.

“Our main job is to get everyone involved and pumped up while the committee runs the social media page(s),” said Breitenreiter.

The leaders promote the events and encourage students to attend the events while the committee runs a Twitter and Facebook page to communicate with the student body.

Besides the chant leaders, who pump up the crowd, the leaders that do the behind-the-scenes work are called organizational leaders. These specific leaders choose themes for upcoming games and they run the Twitter page and Facebook page titled Red Rage 6.

“I help the organizational leaders think of themes for the games and encourage students to come to sporting events,” said Vander Ploeg.

Through the organization and planning of sporting events, Red Rage aims to add more emotion to MHS’s school life, but it also adds more responsibility to the lives of the Red Rage leaders.

“I feel some pressure. There are just so many events going on, and I have school work, which adds to the pressure, said Breitenreiter. “My friends joke around with me about Red Rage. I have made it to all the events so far and that is what I feel I do [well] at.”

School spirit, commitment and traditions are what many students want MHS to value.  Red Rage attempts to bring those values to the rest of the MHS community.

Vander Ploeg said, “I am hopeful that I could use this experience to bring all the students together and get everyone hyped to cheer on our Mustangs.”