It is no secret that feelings on the Colorado High School Athletics Association organization are mixed and a bit apprehensive. However, CHSAA- being the authoritative voice in high school sports and activities, has launched the new Back My Team contest, testing enthusiastic high school students on who can show the most school spirit, and it is invigorating Durango High School.
Adam Bright, athletic director of DHS, has already seen an improvement in DHS’s school spirit and loves the idea behind this contest.
“I think our school spirit is getting better and better. I just want to see our students go crazy and have fun. The more we make it an experience to be there, the more people want to come. So if we can get bigger and bigger crowds the louder we become,” said Bright.
High school, as much as it is about the education, is about the experience and memories created. This contest allows students to become more supportive of peers and it is an invitation to more people to come and encourage players on the field or court, amplifying the high school experience.
Student council is a significant element in DHS, the program puts a lot of work and energy into the school events and contributes a lot to the fundamentals of DHS’ identity. Edde Lyons, the student council commissioner of school spirit, spares a portion of her time and busy schedule working towards magnifying DHS’ school spirit because she feels it is an extreme way that DHS comes together as a school.
“Expectations are high for the DHS students because we have always been extremely spirited in the past. We expect, but mostly hope continuous participation in school thrown events. The “Back My Team” contest is a perfect time for us Demons to show that when we come together we are the unbreakable and unforgettable high school,” said Sr. Lyons.
The goal is to not let CHSAA forget Durango High School after the students come together, scream, cheer, and support their teams.
“I definitely feel like I perform better when the support of the school is behind us. Not only does it fuel us individually and as a team, but I also think there is an aspect of intimidation for the other teams who have to face our spirit at our home games,” said Jr. Gus Kidd, a receiver on the DHS’ varsity football team.
As the contest may draw out a bit more school spirit, it has always been present here at DHS and has always impacted the teams and students in a positive way. Kidd believes in his school and what it can accomplish when the students come together as one.
“DHS athletics is unmatched in its ability to draw such large crowds from such a small town and generate the most possible hype. From volleyball to football, our crowds always display multiple chants and traditions unique to DHS, setting us apart from other schools. I certainly think we have what it takes to win this contest,” said Kidd.
To pep assemblies, to home football games, and to the many other schools activities as DHS, the amount of spirit and enthusiasm produced by young students never disappoints. The back my team contest is just an opportunity to show CHSAA how the students choose to represent DHS in the most upbeat way in supporting each other.
Rhonda Blanford-Green, the commissioner of CHSAA, and Tom Robinson, the associate commissioner shared an insight on what exactly they do and what they are looking for.
“In our minds, the back my team contest is a way to promote positive sportsmanship by getting communities together in an intentional manner and making sure that when they do come together they cheer appropriately,” said Robinson.
Durango has always been a close-knit town and this contest brings everyone as a community closer. The support of the people of Durango as a whole is inspiring and it brings out the essence in DHS.
“School spirit is essential for just celebrating the culture of your school. It brings everyone together whether you’re an athlete, not an athlete, whether you’re in student leadership, or music. School spirit brings together that energy that supports the pride in everything that you come to school for. Your school colors, your school mascot so I think school spirit is important for celebrating the high school experience,” said Blandford-Green.