When a Samo student thinks of school spirit, they probably visualize a raucous group of juniors and seniors fervently screaming their graduation years until their lungs burst. Blue Crew aims to push that image aside, and take school spirit to an entirely new level.
“Anyone can be in Blue Crew; it’s not like you have to sign up or anything,” senior Azia Calderhead, ASB president and president of Blue Crew, said. “You just buy a shirt, wear it to a [school] event, and you’re in Blue Crew. It’s like a Samo fan base.”
In the past, bevies of Blue Crew affiliates frequented important games of only a few sports, such as football, basketball and baseball — games that would already have a significant number of attendees. The group’s new adviser, world history teacher Douglas Kim, hopes to change their focus.
“Blue Crew is really modeled after other schools, like Duke [University] — the Cameron Crazies — and UCLA’s Bruin Den. We’re making it a way for students who want to be involved in school spirit or just want to support our [sports] teams to reach out and be heard,” Kim said. “The Blue Crew is about rallying under the idea of what Samo means to the students and faculty here.”
The group was created in 2007 by three boys who wanted to have a cheering section to support Samo sports and to draw bigger crowds to support soccer, water polo and other poorly attended sports games. In the few years since its establishment, the members have started going only to larger games, such as the homecoming football game and big CIF games. Calderhead is attempting to restore the tradition, as well as enhance it.
“Last year, when basketball went and won CIF, we got a huge Blue Crew following,” Calderhead said. “But now Blue Crew is dying — only the seniors really know what it is. I try to go to as many games as I can, but there are some sports that have very few spectators. I’m hoping that more Blue Crew [members] at these games will help to get more people watching them.”
Calderhead and other Crew members in ASB such as senior class vice-president Charlie Schmittdiel have been working diligently to revive the floundering group, through Facebook messages and word-of-mouth; Spirit Week, for example, was publicized through a Facebook message sent out by “Blue Crew ’10-’11.”
“There was a great moment when I knew the publicity was working,” Calderhead said. “One water polo captain, Mark Vonderweidt, came up to me and asked me specifically if the Blue Crew could help publicize [the Greenies’] upcoming game. That’s what Blue Crew is all about.”
And why stop there? Schmittdiel and Calderhead have plans to have people wear the telltale blue shirts at other school events, from choir concerts to school-sponsored fundraisers.
Despite the new focus on lesser-known games, Blue Crew members are still rallying for people to go to the homecoming game on Oct. 22.
“The game is just around the corner and I know we want to make it a sold-out game,” Kim said. “We’re going to be looking for a sea of blue and gold in the stands. Go Vikings!”