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Nuthouse retains value

While cheerleaders encourage the football and basketball teams during games, students in past years have taken it upon themselves to add to the spirit. In a taped-off section of the bleachers, campus enthusiasts congregate to maintain the quintessential FC experience: the Nuthouse.

P.E. teacher Scott Callisch created the Nuthouse at a basketball game in the early 90s to encourage students to attend.

?We started the Nuthouse just for the kids to have fun and it really evolved,? Callisch said. ?We crowded them into the PC (Peoples Church) gym and they took it from there.?

The Nuthouse held dress-up events like ?accident victim night? and ?world conqueror night? to boost spirit and promote unity.

?Pretty much every game had a theme,? C. J. Haydock, ?03 graduate and current junior high basketball coach, said. ?We had Western, pajamas, jungle nights, everything. The best was throwback/retro. Even the basketball players and opposing teams wore the old-fashioned short-shorts and headbands.?

Built as a function to bring students together, the Nuthouse grew into a campus tradition.

?The student section really helped the kids grow together,? Eunie McEntee, former cheer coach, said. ?The students just getting together and having a good time, along with the cheerleaders, made it a great tradition.?

The unabashed FC sports supporters bought passes to the crowded Nuthouse and became members.

?People always want what they can?t have and the Nuthouse was getting so crowded,? Callisch said, ?so we made special passes and had the students pay $5 to join. That gave us a very dedicated core group.?

Among the fans was ’04 graduate Phillip Ocheltree, who relishes his Nuthouse memories.

“One time, my brother Peter (’07) and friend Collin Tally (’04) painted our shirts and bellies with ‘FCS’ and the eagle colors,” Ocheltree said. “When we came out from behind the bleachers, there was a thunderous applause and we led the cheering section that whole night.”

Ocheltree believes the Nuthouse retains value because of the bonding it creates.

“The Nuthouse is all about school spirit,” Ocheltree said, “but it’s also a reason to go to sports events; it makes them fun. It’s a sport in and of itself.”

The varsity girls’ basketball team recently gave FC students a chance to revive the Nuthouse. At the Valley Championships, Feb. 29, at the Selland Arena, students in ‘Team FC’ shirts packed the student section to cheer on their team.

Freshman Tim DeGroot led the cheering section as “Fierce” the eagle mascot.

“The atmosphere was intense and exciting,” DeGroot said. “It was great to lead the crowd and get everyone pumped up; it really encouraged the girls. That’s what the Nuthouse is all about.”

While they lost the championship, the team proved FC’s ability to compete on a Valley-wide level. Loyal Nuthouse students were there the entire league and playoff journey, cheering them on.

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