Some of you may have heard of a new group at the high school this year. No, it’s not a variation of Punk or Emo, and it doesn’t involve tattoos or chains. But it certainly is different: A group of senior boys, led by Jack Fitzpatrick and Mack Kirby, decided that rather than spend their last year of high school terrorizing freshmen and committing random acts of vandalism, that they’d be, well, gentlemanly . Calling themselves the “Gentlemen 10”, this group of approximately ten seniors arrived for the first day of school dressed in dress shirts and ties, maps in hand, and helped direct freshman to their classes. Throughout the semester the boys have continued to set the tone by wearing their nice guy attire the first Monday of every month, and becoming “superfans” of some of the school’s underpopulated sporting events.
Last Saturday, when the Girls’ Basketball Team played Montclair Kimberly Academy at MKA, something was decidedly different. In contrast to the usual echo chamber that the girls play in (especially this year, when the new conference has made for some lopsided, less than compelling matchups) there were fans. Lots of them. Verona fans. And not just the usual clutch of players’ parents–these were students, coming out to cheer on their fellow students in an important game. In fact, the entire starting five of the boys’ basketball team was in attendance, and that’s saying something, since there are precious few winter hours when hoops players aren’t in school, practicing or playing themselves.
Turns out that the boyfriend of one of the players (a future marketing whiz, no doubt) sent an Event announcement around on Facebook to remind his classmates of the time and place of the game, and even asked them to RSVP. They responded, they attended, and they cheered on the girls. And though Verona lost in the final seconds, or maybe because they did, I have a feeling the fans will be back, in force, for the rematch. It’s the last regular-season game of the season, Friday, February 26th, which turns out, appropriately enough, to be Senior Day. No matter what the outcome, I think the girls will end their season, or high school careers, with happy memories of their days playing basketball at VHS. Thank you Gentlemen 10.