LASA Move Yields Gallons of Traditions


Nayan Kondapalli, Staff Writer

With LASA finally receiving their own campus after their separation from LBJ, students are met with their own sports teams, and by proxy, their own traditions. This means that the LASA students of 2021-2022 set the grounds for what will define LASA in the years to come. 

A hopeful new LASA tradition is the Raptor Rage, which is, as LASA senior and football safety Nick Robertson put it: “basically an impromptu pep rally.” Pep rallies are large events that usually took place before the first football game to celebrate the school’s sports teams, with demonstrations from football, basketball, and volleyball players, along with LBJ’s marching band. But with the absence of pep rallies this year, senior Jack Waters decided to do something about it. 

“[Jack] was like, it’s our first game of the year, and we need a pep rally because we don’t have a pep rally so, we built a stage, got a sound system, found a playlist, and we got ourselves a pep rally,” Robertson said.

Another notorious tradition students might be familiar with is the milk jug challenge. Although this tradition was kicked off with LBJ, it’s easily the largest unofficial tradition every year. 

“There is the milk jug challenge where we find an empty space, we take all the cars and make a giant circle with them,” Robertson said. “We buy a bunch of milk and then try to drink the whole gallon. It’s probably the biggest [tradition].”

These traditions keep excitement about athletics high all year round, and according to Robertson, the student section is one of the most important traditions, building off the spirit of these. The student section keeps excitement bursting from the bleachers at every football game, making sure spectators are engaged and are having fun, which is one of the most important parts of playing football to Robertson.

“Behind the player benches is where the student section leaders are and they bring megaphones and dance around,” Robertson said. “The students section’s job is to make people have fun at football games and that’s really all that I want in my years playing football.”

But football isn’t the only sport that exists, and large-scale traditions such as pep rallies and milk jugs aren’t the only type of traditions. Senior and center for the basketball team Kenechi Ezekoye described a unique tradition brought in from basketball coach Joseph Pendell.

“After every district win, there’ll be an MVP, and we’ll give them a championship belt to keep until the next MVP,” Ezekoye said. “We call them the Alpha Raptor.”

Ultimate frisbee has a similar tradition at the end-of-the-year celebration. Players are given awards for special things they do for the team. Ultimate also has other fun traditions, such as Spirit Shorts.

 “At the end of the year, every year, there’s a banquet where they’d give out little awards for people of the year, like defensive MVP or biggest clown,” Robertson said. “There’s another thing called Spirit Shorts, these pink shorts that everyone has signed for years now, and we can’t really wash them because then you get all the marker off. So it’s really disgusting. [At the end of each game], whoever you think had the best spirit, you’d give it to them.”  

Although these traditions may just seem like fun, Ezekoye believes it’s the simple traditions like these that hype up athletes for the next match and give the incentive to play better each week. When he was at Anderson, there were some traditions, such as pep talks from coaches and drinking chocolate milk, that encouraged him and his teammates to work harder, and he now hopes they could be implemented at LASA.  

“We would also drink chocolate milk after every workout session, and man it’s dumb, but we loved it,” Ezekoye said. “It made us work harder. Because we’re still kids, and sometimes we need that push. I think [LASA students] would get a lot out of it.” 

LASA is still getting used to athletic teams independent from LBJ and are somewhat unorganized right now, but in the future Ezekoye hopes we can implement more traditions to bring teams and students together. Ezekoye suggested that one way to develop more traditions is to start fundraising to raise money to spend on future traditions. 

“Have fundraisers at the beginning of the season,” Ezekoye said. “I don’t remember doing this for LASA, and I kept thinking ‘Why haven’t we done this?’ If we did a fundraiser, we’d be able to get our chocolate milk.”

 LASA being in its own building puts a strain on the overall budget, and areas like athletics are being left out more now. Whatever money is given is directed towards building up the team with new equipment and facilities. Starting fundraisers allows students to manage money to improve their own chemistry and increase the quality of their sports. 

As of right now, LASA sports are in a crucial developmental period. In the future, the traditions that students will form this year and in the near future will guide the school as a whole to establish what it means to be a part of LASA athletics.