Welcome to the 2015 Jungle

Take a look into the heart of Leopard Nation and it’s new leaders


Stu Mair

The official name of the student section “The Jungle” was re-adopted after a year break during the 2013-2014 school year and picked back up by Class of 2015.

In a sea of red and black, the Leopards lurk, exploding in an eardrum-blasting roar after the final whistle blows, ending another football game in a Leopard victory.

The Jungle has shown its support in great numbers for Leopard athletics, led previously by the infamous Dirty Drumline who coordinated creative cheers to support the team, took jabs at the opposition, or even challenged the referee’s calls.  Last year however, the members of the Dirty Drumline graduated, leaving The Jungle without a leader.

Something with such power as The Jungle could not fall into the wrong hands. Juniors Matthew Almy and Abe Dueck, and seniors Jacob Parrott and Grady Wells decided to step up for the challenge. A meeting was convened, leaders chosen, and the fate of the Jungle decided.

The main topic of the grand meeting was how the Jungle was going to develop going forward.

“Our main goal this year is inclusiveness,” Almy said. “Every student is a part of The Jungle, and that’s a tradition we can all be proud. We encourage all students to join in on the cheers and support their Leopards.”

A big question the new leaders faced was how to keep up with traditions as well as starting new ones.

“We are making some new traditions as well as staying true to the old,” Dueck said. “Mr. Farrell helps us out and approves our chants/ideas for the Jungle. We have planned to show and practice some of our new ideas to students during lunch though we haven’t found a right date yet.”

The Jungle even traveled to the first football game held at the Lowery Freshman Center while the Leopard pressbox was being constructed.
Parker Nolan
The Jungle even traveled to the first football game held at the Lowery Freshman Center while the Leopard pressbox was being constructed.

Aside from new ways to pump up the crowd and rally support, the leaders are also finding new ways to change the Jungle aesthetically.

“One thing we are trying to make happen is to have some speakers for The Jungle so we can play music like ‘Jump Around’ to get people going,” Wells said. “We also went around and raised some money to get some big blow-up heads to have at football games and at other athletic events.”

In terms of sound, the Jungle is a dominant force during games and its leaders say they believe it can effect games’ outcomes.

“I think we can make a pretty big impact on game outcomes,” Parrott said. “Not only do we energize the atmosphere for our team, but we also get inside the heads of the other team.”

Dominant fan bases are common in sports and the energy they give off in games has immediate effect on opposing teams

“It would be difficult to fully articulate the important role played by the Jungle,” Almy said. “We are to the Leopard Nation as the 12th man is to the Aggies. It’s not game time until The Jungle shows up.”

While Lovejoy always had a vibrant student section, the name “The Jungle” was coined nearly a year ago by previous seniors. These seniors wanted to establish something with a lasting legacy and hope it lives on this year.

“The Jungle is a living, breathing animal that lives in every Leopard fan’s heart,” 2015 graduate Matthew Smith said. “Its release creates a result of an atmosphere unmatched by any student section in the Metroplex. As an alumni and former member of the Jungle, it brings me great pride to see the student section grow and develop and I know it brings the same pride to the Lovejoy community as well.”

The leaders of the new Jungle were tested Sept. 25 as the football team played Denison in its first game in the newly renovated Leopard Stadium on Homecoming night. By the end of the third quarter, Denison had the lead. Empowered by a commanding Leopard offense and energy from the Jungle, Lovejoy came out with the win with a final score of 45-31.


You can get all the Leopard Nation updates by following the Jungle on Twitter @TheLojoJungle