By John Orrell, Contributing Writer
Hudson – When it comes to team spirit, support for all of the school’s teams, and the growth of a sense of unity among students on campus, perhaps no one is doing it better these days than the Hudson High School (HHS) Junior Boosters.
Founded three years ago by Shelley Francolini as an offshoot to the school’s booster club, which is comprised of parents only, the Junior Boosters are giving a voice and a helping hand to allow students an opportunity to create something special amongst Hawk players, coaches and team supporters.
“They have brought so much spirit to the school in running many events to help raise funds for their fellow athletes and school,” said Francolini, who serves as an advisor. “Since they started, the group has grown and the spirit in the school has grown as well. They now have what is called the Red Sea, it’s the fans that go to the games and cheer on their fellow athletes. They have theme nights where they may dress up and it’s pretty amazing. They also help with many community events along with helping our regular booster club with their events.”
Junior Boosters consist of a board of directors that include seniors Tony Francolini (President), Michael Chaves (Treasurer), Andy Lenox (Director of Events) and junior Jordyn Yates (Vice-President) that holds meetings on a monthly basis to discuss and vote on upcoming activities. Amongst the many fundraising activities that benefit HHS sports teams, the drama club and community charities are dodgeball tournaments, pancake breakfasts, tailgates, youth nights at varsity sporting events and much, much more.
“We really wanted to get our fan section bigger because we didn’t have a lot of fans showing up for sporting events,” said Tony Francolini. “We created the Red Sea which is our fan section and now we have such huge attendance at all of our sports. After the Red Sea started rolling, a lot of kids wanted to help us grow so they joined the Junior Boosters. I think what we’re doing makes our school a lot better as a community. I’ve never seen a school that has a fan section as good as us.”
“We’ll have meetings to see what we want to do during the year like football season,” added Yates. “We’ll have a tailgate for the football season but at the board meetings we talk about what we want to do during the year. We’ll establish goals and talk about how much money we want to raise. The Junior Boosters have brought a lot of different people together. I’ve met a lot of new people and I feel like it’s helped all of us become better friends and a better family altogether.”
There are currently more than 20 members of the Junior Boosters and more students are encouraged to join. Board members remark that they have seen a palpable difference in the sense of school spirit and team unity since the evolvement of the club and are quick to point out that this is all about more than just athletics.
“One thing we’ve tried to emphasize this year is that it’s not just about sports,” explained Chaves. “We’ve supported the drama club after their plays. There’s been this thing at Hudson High School that our groups are all different but we’re trying to bring them all together. That’s one thing through Junior Boosters we’ve been able to do.
“We have a lot of students that come to our meetings. We’ve all been around youth sports and fundraising through the town and we get ideas from there but we’ll be sitting around and we’ll just fire ideas off each other and we won’t be afraid to tell each other if the idea’s bad. Being part of the Red Sea brings a lot of satisfaction knowing your school is together. People in the area know that we have a great fan section and it’s all about spirit.”
“The unity that the Junior Boosters brings through the different events that we hold like pancake breakfasts and the dodgeball tournament and all the tailgates that we have make it rewarding,” Lenox added. “It’s also fun doing what we do and feeling a real part of the school as a whole.
For more information on the HHS Junior Booster Club program, visit the Club’s wesbite at http://www.hhshawksboosters.org/about-the-boosters.html.