The Roar of The Den


¨Ryan Sickenberger’s buzzer-beater vs Franklin Regional. That game was senior night, and ultimately a great game that ended on heroics from a kid we’ve all watched play for three years. Any other year a crowd of kids would have poured out of the den to dogpile on him, but this year the gym seemed so quiet compared to what the reaction would have been in past years,” Drew said. He explained that having a limited den in Covid time is definitely better than having nothing at all. He mentioned how it is not the same as hearing the roar of the entire student body behind you during big games. ¨Especially home games, as we teams such as boys basketball, and football are used to having a big, loud and rowdy student section chanting all together as one,¨ Drew said. 

Throughout his high school career Drew has earned the role of being the Den leader as a senior. During his sophomore and junior year his chant would roar through the den overpowering the voices of the seniors. Drew earned the senior superlative of most school spirited. He always encourages his peers, fellow athletes, and underclassmen to come out to support as many sports teams as they can. 

As a key player on the boy’s basketball team and baseball team, Drew understands the power that a cheerful crowd can have-so much so that he figures out a way to be a key player in the den as well. If he could be in all three places at once he would. In years past, Drew would often bounce around from the high school to watch a volleyball or soccer game, and in the same night make it just in time to Kirk S. Nevin to watch the Ice Cats on the rink. 

As restrictions for outdoor activities and sporting events had opened up. The restrictions have been different all year. Recently they’ve opened up much more. In the fall there was hope for having a den at football even though it fell through. But once basketball came around in the winter, nobody would even imagine getting a group of students in the den. As spring sports started up outside, we’ve been able to come together as a den more frequently,” said Drew.

The silent crowd began to grow and the roar of the den got louder as the spring weather sprung. As restrictions in the spring began to open up, sports fanatics were hopeful for a crowd to cheer on their sports teams during a covid season. Drew excites and encourages students to support spring sports to make up for the fall seasons that they all missed.  ”I think a lot of it comes from people not being at school in person. Not being around each other and seeing the work the athletes put in. Underclassmen never got to experience what it’s like to be a part of the den, and it’s something that makes you enjoy supporting your school,” explained Drew. 

On a typical evening on Greater Latrobe Senior High School campus,  you can catch a boys or girls lacrosse game on Rossi Field or if you happen to continue down slightly further to Graham-Sobota Complex you could witness a girls softball or boys baseball game with a crowd overflowing the bleachers. Parents, students, and sports fanatics started coming out to not only support their team but to socialize with others while feeling a sense of normalcy for the first time in almost over a year. 

Drew expressed how, with the circumstances of the school year, he is grateful for what they have gotten to do as they have tried to make the best out of the situation. Gathering to watch games– and even standing outside of the stadium fence in the fall– to show the support from senior students. These restrictions have come a long way since the fall.

Drew as well as many others seniors plan to make the most of the rest of the spring sports season as their role and tradition of the den will carry on to underclassmen. “A few of the underclassmen that I feel will be at the front of the den next year are Brennan Campbell, Zach Marucco, Spencer Mills, Chase Sickenberger, and Mason Krinock. All of these guys are always at games for almost any sport. They’ve witnessed the den pre-COVID so they understand how important good leaders are to the student section and I think they’ll do a very good job leading it,” explained Drew. The tradition of the den will lead on and the underclassmen plan to continue on wildcat pride, school, spirit and support for the GLHS sporting teams.