If you have been to an LH boys basketball home game in the last decade or so, then you know who the Rowdies are. The group of students that dress alike, stand the entire game, and scream at the top of their lungs in order to cheer on the Wildcats feel as if they are as just important to the team’s success as the five players on the court.
At first glance, one might think that the Rowdies are simply an unorganized group of kids who just show up wearing whatever it is that they could find in the back of their closet. This could not be further from the truth.
Almost nothing with the Rowdies happens without first going through the senior who is in charge. This year’s leader is Wil Matthews, an LH tennis player and Wrangler.
Once a “theme” for the game has been decided on, Wil sends either a text or Facebook message to the Rowdies so that they know to dress accordingly. In recent years the Rowdies have celebrated Nerd Night, Pilgrims and Indians, and Disco Night.
The Rowdies will meet in the parking lot outside of the gym about fifteen minutes before the game so that they can make their presence known and walk in as one large group. Once each Rowdy has found their seat, the chanting begins.
How do the Rowdies know what to chant and when to chant it? Well, most of the chants are determined by what is happening on the court. Pre-rehearsed chants go along with every slam dunk, blocked shot, and 3-pointer during the game.
Of course, because the Rowdies are representing Lake Highlands as a school, there are limitations to what they can say or do. Assistant principals keep watchful eyes on the students just to make sure that everything is kept appropriate.
The Rowdies try to find a balance between supporting the team and entertaining other spectators, while not being too much of a distraction from the game. The kids realize that the main focus of the Rowdies is to root on the Wildcats, not cause a scene or be overly obnoxious.
“We just try to stay loud and proud,” Matthews said. “Come rowdy. Stay rowdy.”