RM spirit squads make their return


RM’s Hells Kitchen excites the crowd during one of this season’s home football games.

Delaney Crawley, Editor-in-Chief

Richard Montgomery’s athletic department houses sports ranging from tennis to wrestling. Fans of the athletes fill the stadiums in support, most notably and enthusiastically for football. Traditions such as pep rallies, spirit days, Hell’s Kitchen, and Juice Crew reappear every fall in support of Football season. However, this year, in the wake of Covid, things for spectators and supporters may look a little differently. 

Led by the seniors, Hell’s Kitchen and Juice Crew are traditions that contribute to the roar of the crowd. Members of both groups lead cheers, chants, and overall get spectators hyped and excited in support of the team. At the Urbana Vs. RM game on Sep. 3, administrators and security shut down the groups. “Every time we’ve scored a touchdown, it’s been a little tradition for whoever’s in the juice group to throw juice into the stands, after we scored to celebrate… this year we did it and then our juice was taken away and it was said to be dangerous,” senior Dylan Eisner said. To clarify, actual juice boxes are thrown into the stands in celebration of a touchdown. Eisner, along with Andrew Kim, Colin Dunn, Alex Eisner, Tomas Guozden, and Chris Michalopoulos, make up the crew of senior boys this year. 

The boys are looking to find more clarity on what they are and are not allowed to do at games. Administration had told them they didn’t want people crowding around the bottom of the bleachers with Hell’s Kitchen, throwing Juice into the stands, and in general being rowdy. “It was just something that was a little chaotic to manage for a game,” principal, Ms. Alicia Deeny said. 

Administration met with the Juice crew to discuss the issues at hand. “With the juice boxes, the concern was the trash that they made and possibly hitting someone and hurting someone,” Ms Deeny said.

Hell’s Kitchen, another student-led spirit group, are facing similar issues. Hell’s Kitchen, a name derived from a popular cooking tv show, stands at the front of the crowd banging pots, pans, and leading cheers for the entirety of the game. This year the group consists of seniors David Sahakian, Oliver Orcev, Lilly Triandafilou, and Lindsay Maggio.  

Also at the Urbana game, Hell’s Kitchen had an altercation with administration. “They all got mad at us, because there [were many people] standing and blocking people walking by. They were worried that we were going to hit people, when we were just cheering,” Sahakian said.  

Administration had come to talk to Hell’s Kitchen many times at the Urbana game. “I don’t think anybody was doing anything wrong…it just was kind of a crowd management concern,” Ms Deeny said on the issues at Urbana. The following week however, RM faced off against Bethesda Chevy Chase on their turf. Both Hell’s Kitchen and Juice Crew attended that game, where there were more problems with security. “Last Friday we had a game at BCC, and the security guards took our pots and pans and then gave them to our athletic director Freda, and we still haven’t gotten them back,” Sahakian said. Security confiscating Hell’s Kitchen’s materials left the group with only their voices to build excitement. However, the group was given some insight as to why this happened. “​​They [administration] told us they don’t want us using the pots and pans at away games anymore, because apparently there’s a rule that visitors can’t have noisemakers,”  Sahakian said. 

To solve this problem, the crew spoke directly to the administration. “We talked about their positioning and location in the crowd,” Ms Deeny said. They also discussed ways to balance excitement from the crowd while respecting the rules of whichever school the game is held. 

 “I was excited to learn that [Hell’s Kitchen and Juice Crew] existed and there was this group of students that are all about hyping up the spirit and you know the crowds,” Ms Deeny said. Both spirit squads want to continue to push to keep this well loved tradition alive and plan to do so at the next home game against Walt Whitman high school on Friday, October 1.