BIG CLASS RANKINGS
1. Derby Panthers (LW: 3)
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Nickname: “The Den”
I wondered how crazy the home opener for Derby would be. It turns out even better than I thought, as I’m hearing reports that the Den grew so large that it was spilling out of the student section seating. That’s roughly more than 500 students packed in there. On top of that, Derby killed its USA theme with some of the best chest-painting I have seen so far from a front row. Props to whoever did that for them. The sign game was a little lacking, but I did appreciate the “If you’re reading this, start the bus” one. There’s no doubt that Derby has the numbers on possibly any student section in the state and they’ll get another home game this Friday for what should be a huge game against Hutchinson.
2. Kapaun Mt. Carmel Crusaders (LW: 2)
Cessna Stadium is such a huge stadium and it’s really hard to fill it to make a student section look packed. This is not a problem that applies to Kapaun, which had another massive showing for a home game at WSU to watch its football team improve to 3-0 on the season. I love the creativity with the beach theme — KM(Sea) — and the student section took advantage by ditching the typical rollercoaster and grabbing their surfboards and catching some waves instead. Kapaun has brought the numbers and the creativity for all three weeks and we will see how the student section does with another road trip to Carpenter this Friday to play South.
3. Goddard Lions (LW: 1)
Nickname: “The Den”
Goddard has impressed for three straight weeks now, as this past week the Den was asked to make the 40-minute trip out to Andover on a Thursday night. I love the creativity of the student section, as they are the first in the area to come up with something outside of the normal themes after going with the scary movie “IT” theme. There were some signs to play off the them and this terrifying clown man. The numbers weren’t what Goddard is used to, but it was a Thursday night game. That’s a tough ask, but expect the student section to be overflowing this Friday in a district rivalry game as the Lions take on Eisenhower.
4. Bishop Carroll Golden Eagles (LW: 6)
There’s no doubt that every time Bishop Carroll plays at home, the football team has a huge advantage with this type of student section. The Carroll student section once again packed the stands and had enough students to do this with the American flag before the game. One of the better USA themes I have seen this season, as Carroll had its first home game of the season. This week is a tough ask, as Carroll will be on the road on a Thursday night, but we’ll see what the student section has in store for its 3-0 and No. 2-ranked football team.
5. Andover Trojans (LW: 7)
Nickname: “The Blue Crew”
For a Thursday night game, I was really impressed with the Blue Crew’s showing against Goddard last week. Not only did their Trojans nearly pull off a stunning upset, but the Blue Crew was a highlight of the night with how rowdy they were in a close game. Andover’s student section went with the USA theme and put their own spin on it, finding a way to use A-town in their U-S-A-town banner across the student section. Andover is trending upward and could shoot up even higher in the rankings this week with their biggest game of the season against Andover Central this Friday.
6. Newton Railers (LW: 11)
Nickname: “The Tron”
Would you believe me if I told you this was a road game nearly an hour away from Newton? The Tron brought it last Friday with the “USA” theme away from home and they get the nod to move up in the rankings. Not only did their team steal the win on the road, but the Tron stole the show and bonus points for the “Made in America” sign — one of my favorite songs off Watch The Throne.
7. Campus Colts (LW: 4)
Nickname: “The Screamin’ Stampede”
I’ve detailed on here many times how impressed I’ve been with the Campus student section, which isn’t only supporting the football team but also the soccer team. The Screamin’ Stampede has a very impressive performance with almost a two-hour road trip to Salina, as they pulled off a safari theme with great success. It’s a tough schedule, as Campus is scheduled to back to Salina this time to take on Salina Central this Friday. But the good news is a home game against Andover in Week 5 should be popping in Haysville.
8. Maize Eagles (LW: 5)
Nickname: “The Nest”
I’m going to give huge props to any student section who can come up with some kind of creative theme that doesn’t fall under the typical ones — USA, school colors, white/black-out, tiki bar, and neon. Maize did just that last Friday on the road against Derby, as the Nest went with a “Breakfast Club” theme. Love the creativity, especially for a road game. We’ll see what Maize has in store for its second home game of the season this Friday after a huge success in Week 2 with its military night.
9. Valley Center Hornets (LW: 10)
Nickname: “The Hornet’s Nest”
Valley Center went with the “USA” theme for its second home game of the season, as the Hornet’s Nest delivered an electric performance as their football team improved to 3-0 on the season. Valley Center has come up with some creativity for the first three weeks of the season, which has kept them ranked in the Top 10 in a very competitive year. Props to whoever dressed up as Lady Liberty, too.
10. Eisenhower Tigers (LW: 9)
Nickname: “The Zoo”
Eisenhower’s football team may be 0-3 (they have lost by a combined five points the last two weeks), but the Zoo is consistently one of the best student sections in the area. Last week, for their second home game of the season, they went with the USA theme and had a cool balloon release during the National Anthem. Eisenhower has its biggest game of the season this week against Goddard, so we’ll see what the Zoo can bring this Friday.
11. Andover Central Jaguars (LW: 13)
Nickname: “The Jungle”
Andover Central capitalized on its second home game of the season with a quality showing last Friday, as the Jaguars picked up their first win of the season in a blowout over Abilene. Here’s a video of the student section’s roller coaster. But honestly, everyone is just looking forward to this Friday’s rivalry game against Andover. This is the biggest game of the year for Andover Central and I expect to see big things from The Jungle this Friday.
12. Northwest Grizzlies (LW: 8)
I heard that Northwest had some decent support for its road trip to Great Bend, but couldn’t find a picture or a video to prove it. I’ve had trouble tracking down Northwest student section pictures this year, so be sure to tag me on Twitter this week to move up. The Grizzlies have a reputation for being one of the strong student section s around, so don’t be surprised to see them climb the rankings soon. Northwest will have a home game this Friday against West, so I’m expecting a nice turnout for the rivalry game.
13. Maize South Mavericks (LW: 12)
A road trip all the way up to Kansas City is a big ask for any student section, so all is forgiven for Maize South not sending me a picture this Friday. But I’m expecting big things this Friday, as Maize South hosts its second home game of the season against a Buhler team coming off a state title game appearance. The Mavericks haven’t allowed a point through three games and they’re ranked No. 2 in Class 4A I, so I’m expecting a big week for Maize South this Friday.
14. East Blue Aces (LW: 18)
Nickname: “East High Hecklers”
It’s tough when your football team doesn’t play its home games at your school, but the East High Hecklers have made the best out of it. This was a very impressive showing on the road last Friday at Kapaun, as the student section went with a USA theme. East will play its psuedo home game this Friday at South, so we’ll see what the Hecklers have in store for that one.
15. McPherson Bullpups (LW: UR)
Nickname: “Bullpup Nation”
McPherson dominated in its home opener and Bullpup Nation had a huge outing to go along with it. Here’s a video of the Bullpup stomp to start the fourth quarter, as you can see how hype the McPherson student section was last Friday. McPherson will have a big one on the road in Augusta this Friday, so we’ll see how well the Bullpups travel — they’re on the road for four of the first five weeks of the season.
16. Heights Falcons (LW: UR)
The Heights’ student section makes its debut on the list after they tweeted me a picture from last Friday’s big 65-0 win over Dodge City. After two straight away games to open up the season, Heights now has three straight home games. So we’ll see what the Falcons can do now that they’ve got their full squad assembled.
SMALL CLASS RANKINGS
1. Douglass Bulldogs
Nickname: “The Kennel”
I’ve been really impressed with the support the Douglass fall sports teams have had this year with the backing of The Kennel. They’re not only bringing it every Friday night, but they’ve showed they are a force to be reckoned with for their volleyball team as well. Not only does the Kennel bring the numbers, but now they’re producing their own broadcast during halftime of football games. My only suggestion for improvement? Get a Varsity Kansas sign for next time.
2. Hesston Swathers
Nickname: “Hobbs Squad”
The Hobbs Squad conquered a nearly two-hour drive to Larned to watch their football team pick up its second win of the season. A group of around 30 students showed up to support the Swathers, as the student section went with a jersey night. Plus a gorilla showed up!
3. Augusta Orioles
Nickname: “The O’s Zone”
The revamped “O’s Zone” has been a huge success this season and Augusta’s football team is off to a 3-0 start. It’s been a winning combination this season and Augusta had perhaps its best showing of the season on the road at Circle. Plus, Augusta had a contender for sign of the week with the “Internet Explorer Runs Faster Than Your Wide Receiver” one. Well done, Augusta.
4. Circle Thunderbirds
Nickname: “The Bird Cage Crew”
For the second home game of the season, Circle’s “Bird Cage Crew” went with the Tiki Bar theme and didn’t disappoint. Although their team lost the game, Circle’s student section had a very impressive showing and killed the theme this week. Love the “It’s 5 O’Clock Somewhere” sign, too.
5. Wellington Crusaders
Wellington’s football team is 3-0 and the school spirit in Wellington is rising with every win. The Crusaders put together a really cool video for last Friday’s win, as their student section had a great showing with a neon night. Up next is Wellington’s biggest challenge yet: a road trip to undefeated Andale. A strong showing on the road could make Wellington a contender for the No. 1 spot next week.
6. Kingman Eagles
Nickname: “The Kingdom”
Kingman has an undefeated volleyball team and a state title contender and the student section has latched on to support them. Props to any school who can get out and support their volleyball team on a school night.
7. Trinity Academy Knights
Nickname: “TA Spirit Section”
The TA Spirit Section had a solid showing for a rivalry game on the road against Independent, as they celebrated a dominant 42-15 victory for the football team’s first win of the season. Here’s a video of the “Knight Coaster.”
8. Collegiate Spartans
Nickname: “The Spartan Spirit Club”
Collegiate had a big home game against Buhler last Friday and although the team lost, the student section still brought it. I was there to check this student section out in person and I came away impressed with them. They’ll have a road trip this Friday to Mulvane for another big game, so we’ll see how well the Spartans travel.
9. Mulvane Wildcats
Nickname: “The Rowdie Crowd”
Mulvane’s “Rowdie Crowd” looked like it had the neon night going on the road last week in Andale. The Wildcats get another home game this Friday and it’s a big one against Collegiate, so I’m expecting a big showing again from Mulvane’s student section.
10. El Dorado Wildcats
It was a blackout night for El Dorado’s student section last Friday for its first home game of the season. El Dorado has three straight home games in a row, so I’m looking forward to seeing what this student section has planned next.
11. Halstead Dragons
Halstead had its first home football game of the season, as the student section came out and watched their Dragons pick up a big win over Kingman. They’ll have another big home game this Friday against Larned.