Spirited Stangs

New group of student section leaders encourages equality and school spirit


The Millard North Mustangs charge into the lights towards battle, the forever faithful student section closely behind, pushing them towards victory. The general at the front of the herd organizes and inspires the army.

The general, or the hard hat, has been a male every year since 2008 when the position was created. This year, however, inspired by the vision of principal Aaron Bearinger, this has changed– the Blue Crew was created. 

“I reached out to our student leaders to say we need to change, do something different,” Bearinger said. “I want to make sure that all students feel comfortable [and] all students feel welcome.”

Included in this group are a male hardhat, a female hardhat, and eight other regular crew members, split evenly between girls and boys.

“My job as the hard hat is to bring the people in the student section together,” senior hard hat Ben Howard said. “I feel really passionate about it and I think it will really help our school spirit.”

The Blue Crew will have many responsibilities, such as creating themes, attending sports events, and promoting school spirit by standing in the front row and leading chants at sports events.

“I think we can create a new tradition that is more inclusive of the entire student body and hopefully makes it fun for all students to come to the games and makes it a great experience,” Bearinger said.

The Blue Crew will not only attend sports events, but keep MN students in the loop by posting themes, activity dates, and more on social media.

“I’m most excited for just seeing how it goes,” senior hard hat Gracie Brueckner said. “We’re starting a bunch of new things.”

Changing the dynamic of only male hard hats has been a controversial discussion among administration and students alike in previous years.

“I think it’s cool how girls are finally able to be hard hats… that feels like a step in the right direction,” junior Reema Guda said.

Girls now not only have more roles to aspire to but also have more support at their own athletic events.

“I feel like it’s good, not just for girls to get more leadership opportunities for student sections and school spirit,” Brueckner said, “but also that girls’ athletics will feel more supported.”

The requirements to be a hard hat, since the tradition’s creation fourteen years ago, were that a student is both male and a senior. Expanding to a bigger group of leaders will ensure both creativity and equality.

“If there’s a bigger group with more diversity, then there are better ideas that are happening,” Guda said. “If there’s only one guy, that feels outdated.” 

The roles of male and female hard hats will continue to be passed down from senior to senior, but other crew members, also seniors, will be able to apply through a Google form in years to come.

“I basically just tried to pick girls that I thought were pretty involved in things,” Brueckner said. “They’re accountable, creative, and passionate about Millard North.”

Replacing such a long-standing tradition will take some time and adaptation from the student body, but leaders look forward to the Blue Crew flourishing.

“We’re still learning things with it, but I think in the coming years that it will be a really good thing for our school, our student section, and school pride,” Howard said.