Golden leaves begin to flutter about, cravings for pumpkin spice lattes return, and every Spartan knows that it’s that wonderful time of year once more- time for the spectacular extravaganza that is Rival Week.
The distant hum of the Canyon Comanches is drowned out by the thrilled battle cry of our stellar football team suiting up for the most anticipated game of the season. All week long, there have been intense tricycle races around the quad, disastrously messy food-throwing games, and cheerful posters. Not a single person on campus remained untouched by the jump-up-and-down excitement, a symptom of anticipation for the Friday night lights and the massive sea of black shirts that is Villa Park’s student section. During one of the pep rallies at lunch, junior Quinn Kennedy dressed up as a Comanche, our top rival. To get the crowd excited, students were allowed to plaster the Comanche with all sorts of disgusting foods ranging from maple syrup to cupcakes. “I learned what is was like to be a Comanche; I feel bad for Canyon kids,” explains Quinn.
Going back eight years ago, a fellow Spartan, Danny Knolton(?), was diagnosed with cancer. Over time, medical bills started to pile up to the point where it was absolutely impossible to pay them off. With such great friends and creative minds, Danny’s peers came up with the one and only Black Pack. Selling T-shirts -similar to the ones we see today- they raised an amazing amount of money that supported their friend throughout his hard battle. Currently, ASB still sells Black Pack T-shirts and graciously donates their proceeds to the Susan G. Komen Foundation. Nowadays, Black Pack is the well known name of our student section for football games. Students of all grades come together as one and cheer the night away at the 50 yard-line, a designated spot just for us Spartans.
Senior Jared Linares, well known as one of the top men of Black Pack, exclaims that, “the game was absolutely amazing. It was the best Black Pack I had ever been apart of out of my entire high school experience.” Even on a Thursday night, the turn out was better than expected. Who knew so many students were so passionate about showing off their school spirit? From our wide variety of “VPHS” chants, to the thrilling roller-coaster “ride”, to the newspaper break at half-time, there was never a dull moment throughout the game. Senior Michael Cushing, ASB President, gushes with excitement over the outstanding week. “I would have to say that this was one of the most successful weeks in Villa Park history. Not only were we able to get big wins for our sports teams and have football beat Canyon, but we were also able to bring the whole school together like never before. The lunch time games were great for us because we were able to spread the word about Thursday night’s game, and not much can be said about Thursday’s game except that that was the biggest and loudest black pack has ever been in VP history… I guarantee that. In doing this we were actually crowned student section of the week which actually means a lot to us in ASB because we try week in and week out to make Black Pack as loud as ever. But ASB is not the one to credit for this achievement.
It was the students who were able to come together and show their true Spartan spirit. After this amazing week, I’m proud to call myself a Spartan and I hope every other student is as well. After such an eventful week full of spirit and winning, you can’t help but feel proud for being a Villa Park Spartan.
With the result of a better than ever Black Pack, came the proud accomplishment of earning OC Sideline’s Student Section of the Week for the first time ever. OC Sidelines is a famous Orange County High School Sports Blog that crowns a student section every week for their loud and proud school spirit. This was the biggest accomplishment for Black Pack, considering the fact that we were against tough competitors including Orange Lutheran, La Habra, and Servite. The Black Pack is like a wild fire, spreading its contagious flames with deafening roars and chants, pom-poms and signs, with students waving proudly, hair, faces, and souls painted blue in undying support. It’s impossible to imagine that anyone wouldn’t want to be a part of the infectious spirit of Black Pack’s Spartan Pride.