Inside the Dog Pound by Jackie Howell
Viva Loudoun High School Intern
Ashburn (Sept. 19, 2013) – “Get up and shout for the Stone Bridge Bulldogs, going for glory with strength and might. Let’s hear a shout for the silver and blue; onward to victory fight, fight,fight.”
The Stone Bridge student section is arguably one of the most important influences to the football team’s success. Working off of the cheerleaders, the student section uses creative cheers, decked out flags, and bleacher-rocking screams to motivate the players and pump up the crowd. They will face their biggest test of the season Friday night at Broad Run High School when the Bulldogs take on their rival Spartans in a 7 p.m. kickoff of the Battle of the ‘Burn.
Interest in the game is so high that Stone Bridge sold 1,000 tickets over lunch on Thursday and Loudoun County Sheriff’s are warning of traffic delays in the area of the Broad Run stadium Friday evening.
“Cheering from the student section affects the overall game because it helps the players by letting them know that we support them and are proud of our school,” Stone Bridge senior Kevin Wulchin said.
Being a member of the Dog Pound gives students a chance to be a part of the football team and carry on the Stone Bridge pride.
“It’s an amazing experience, I love the environment and experience of being part of the Stone Bridge family,” senior Amik Kler said.
Each year, leaders from the new senior class step up to spearhead the student section and take spirit to the next level.
“The student section is stepping up this year because as seniors we’re being looked upon to set the bar,” senior Michael Ferris said.
This year leaders such as Wulchin and Ferris have improved the student section by organizing tailgates, driving to away games, and emphasizing spirit for all sports.
“We’re planning on tailgating for the Broad Run game and every game after that,” Wulchin said. “Usually we try to get the word around by word of mouth or twitter.”
The student section uses props such as the blowup head of Coach Mickey Thompson and pirate flags to support the Bulldogs with a humorous twist.
“All of the flags are from me and my brother (graduate Adam Wulchin),” Wulchin said. “I’m keeping the Dynasty of Spirit alive.”
The student section and the cheerleaders feed off of each other’s energy in order to keep the hype and cheers alive. Both spirit entities work together by following up each others chants and occasionally bringing members on the sidelines to do push ups and other rousing activities.
“Our cheers are different from the cheerleaders, we get ideas from past Stone Bridge chants and other Loudoun County schools,” Ferris said.
The cheerleaders use the enthusiasm from the crowd to fuel their cheers and motivate the players.
“The student section knows the cheers over the years and it’s nice when they join in our chants.” junior cheerleader Grace Fender said. “The more participation from the crowd the better.”
As veterans of the Dog Pound, the seniors are excited to lead the crowd and unify the school for their last season.
“I miss the old seniors but it’s nice to run the section and know everyone around me,” Kler said.
Because they know the cheers from years past, the current seniors are the ones who start and end the cheers.
“It’s a completely different feeling when you’re the one being watched to see what comes next,” Ferris said.
The main goal for the seniors is to get both the underclassmen and the upperclassmen involved and excited in the chants.
“The underclassmen need to step it up this year, we need all of the classes to be loud and join in cheers,” Wulchin said.
No matter what class, being a part of the Dog Pound is an unparalleled experience for all.
“It’s fun being in the student section because everyone gets to be involved and show their school spirit,” senior Megan Winland said.
Inside the Dog Pound is a column by Stone Bridge High School senior Jackie Howell, a Viva Loudoun high school intern for the 2013-14 school year, who will follow the Bulldogs football team during the 2013 season.