Photo by Taylor Disabato
The bleachers are shaken by the rumbling of feet. The sky is vibrant from the colored powder launched upwards. The shouts and cheers, booming across the entire stadium. It’s the Pioneer Pit and it’s back!
The 2019-20 student section will be led by seniors Ryan Woods, Rafee Zafar, Jake Mattingly and Spencer Wyne. They are working hard to make the Pioneer Pit more than just football games, and are bringing it to the next level.
“We want to go to more sports than last year and support all of the teams at our school. We want to make the tailgates more fun and inclusive so everyone can feel they can come and we want to see more freshmen show up,” Zafar said.
The Pioneer Pit seems to grow not only in size, but also in spirit each year. Nevertheless, the diverse population of students comes together for the one passion that everyone has in common: supporting the ‘Neers.
“The best part of being a student section leader is simply seeing our student body come together to support the Pioneers. We love our school and all of the teams we support and the best part of our job is just helping build community and supporting our school in a fun way,” Woods said.
It was necessary to fundraise money to make the Pioneer Pit experience more memorable. On Sept. 1, a car wash was held to help earn money in addition to the go fund me link sent out on social medias.
“This year we plan on being able to have more things to hand out to students at games such as more powder, fat heads and water bottles,” Wyne said.
The leaders aspire to make this the best year yet.
“What we’re looking forward to most this year as section leaders is just giving the students a year that they will never forget. We look forward to seeing everyone go crazy, wild and having a good time at games,” Mattingly said.
The leaders even found a way to reward the students showing up to games. At the girls’ volleyball game against Liberty, the first 40 people who showed up in a jersey got a free shirt! Jersey night is one of the many themes students get the opportunity to participate in.
“We’re going to keep some old themes this year, while also adding some new ones. One theme the students can expect to have is frat night,” Zafar said.
The Pioneer community wants everyone to feel included inside and outside the school walls.
“We’re looking forward to seeing more freshmen at games too. We remember what it was like freshmen year, and we want all the freshmen to feel welcomed. We’re a family, and they are a part of that family now,” Zafar said.