The student news site of Los Altos High School in Los Altos, California

The Talon

The student news site of Los Altos High School in Los Altos, California

The Talon

The student news site of Los Altos High School in Los Altos, California

The Talon

The Sixth Man Club

At any sporting event the school, while there might be a couple of fans scattered here and there, there’s one group of dedicated students present at almost every game. Rain or shine, day or night, sleet or snow (okay, maybe not snow) — the Sixth Man Club is always there.
The Sixth Man Club was created in 2009 by Los Altos High graduates Michael Cramer, ‘10, and Kalyn Nakano, ‘10, who were juniors at the time. Michael and Kalyn were big sports fans and carpooled together with the same people to several games a week.

“The thing was the games were so much fun, but there wasn’t really much attendance other than our friends and parents,” Michael said. “So near the end of the season, we decided we were going to try and make a club that would have the intentions of bringing as many people to the games as possible.”

Even parents came up to Michael and Kalyn to thank them for bringing hundreds of people out to the games. Michael said the crowd was able to swing the momentum in the Eagles’ favor, which never used to happen before the Sixth Man Club began.

“[The club] got to the point where we packed the bleachers and needed to have space reserved in the gym to fit all of us,” Kalyn said. “It got really big really fast and it was awesome to see how much the crowd could affect the game and pump up the players.”
However, toward the end of his senior year, Michael felt that the club and the school began losing its spirit.

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Co-presidents seniors Camryn Nakano and Sabrina Petros are working to restore the legacy that Michael and Kalyn brought to the school. Both being athletes at the school, they want to support others who are bringing pride to the school through sports. Camryn and Sabrina’s goal was to encourage fan participation so that players would perform to their highest abilities. To increase attendance, Camryn and Sabrina communicate with players from each sports team, who tell them which games are going to be the most important for the players.

“I just want to encourage more people to go to games because I know that as an athlete I feel a lot more pumped up for a game,” Sabrina said. “I’m excited to play when I see a lot of people supporting.”

For senior Nikki Klepper, offensive hitter and defensive specialist on the girls volleyball team, fan support makes a huge difference in athletes’ performance.

“For our team in general, when we look over during our time-outs, seeing everyone there with pom-poms and their blue colors — especially the blue man group — out there supporting us is the best thing,” Nikki said.

Success in publicizing the event has been largely due to Facebook, which has allowed the Sixth Man Club works to publicize the event as much as possible. People can see which upcoming games are most important to the athletes. However, it was also important not to overdo the club’s online presence.

“We tried to use Facebook for events and T-shirts only, that way most of the interaction with people was at the games,” Michael said.

Michael said seniors are the biggest factor in determining a big crowd turnout. They’re the ones that set an example to the kids at the school, and their enthusiasm encourages others to rally on the team. Senior participation is crucial, and the Sixth Man Club’s mission to gather seniors cannot be ignored. A crowd can have an enormous influence on players and the overall atmosphere at athletic events.

“If you have a ton of people out there supporting your team, chanting and cheering and getting into the other team’s heads,” Kalyn said. “The crowd can definitely affect the momentum of the game, which is always really awesome to see and be a part of.”

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