Wildcats, Painted and Proud

Kristin Weisell, Aleah Pushaw, & Anna Vicars, Staff Writers

Friday night. Absolute mayhem. Friends are calling, fans are yelling, and the Wildcats score another touchdown. Friday night football is where it’s at, but the shouts of the supporters are barely heard over the roars found among the rows of one section: the area of the Superfans, Mamacitas, and Papa Grandes, the dedicated fan groups who do their utmost to amp up the spirit and enthusiasm of their fellow students.

“Our main goal is to definitely be there for the team and cheer them on 100 percent,” Mamacita captain Rachel Klaassen said. “We also try to get more students involved in school spirit around Plano.”

Seniors Travis Tope and Matt Pomroy have joined Klaassen in leadership positions this year, as captains of the Papa Grandes and Superfans respectively. The positions, or letters, have already been established within each squad, even though the football season is barely underway.

“I was chosen as a Papa Grande because I was dedicated to cheering on my team,” senior Jack Macken said. “It’s also a great way to hang out with my friends too.”

This view is shared by members of all the groups, for whom time spent together outside the stadium is just as important as time spent inside it.

“Everyone on the line this year are really good friends,” Klaassen said. “We do a lot of things outside of school too.”

Passing-down rituals may not be set in stone, but each group has its own ideas for whom to give its positions out to.

“[Each letter] is passed down to [an upcoming] senior guy or girl,” senior Mamacita Abby Birkett said. “They are usually a theatre or choir student, but that’s not a requirement.”

The ones who are chosen to be one of these elite fan groups don’t feel as though it’s an obligation to show their school spirit. Instead, it’s nothing short of an honor for them to stand together on the sidelines and cheer on their team.

“Going to the games and just being part of that awesome group of people are the best parts,” Birkett said. “Not to mention the jeans!”

The Mamacitas’ tradition of painting their jeans started as a unique idea to show school spirit and, over time, became not only their trademark, but a chance for them to be able to be covered in paint like their male counterparts, the Papa Grandes.

“The idea of painting the jeans just stuck,” Klaassen said. “You could also look at it as a way of connecting the Papa Grandes and Mamacitas together.”

Though in the past the Papa Grandes have been known for pulling stunts, to this year’s Papa Grandes it’s all about showing off the school colors.

“The craziest part about it is having our bodies painted,” Macken said. “We’re standing out there half naked.”

While other football support groups, such as the cheerleaders or Planoettes, are busy revving up the crowd on the field, our student fan groups are doing the exact same thing in the stands, surrounded by the Plano faithful.

“I think the Superfans are for a good purpose,” senior Brendan Edmonson said. “They usually get the crowd more excited than our cheerleaders.”

Whether it’s thunderous shouts or shrill cheers, the Mamacitas, Superfans, and Papa