Jo Flo’s basketball jungle
By CONNIE NOLEN / Community Columnist
Jo Flo’s Jungle is coming to Pelham. The citizens of Pelham may wonder where they might find Jo Flo’s Jungle, which sounds like a cool new vine-covered playground for kids.
This jungle does sport lots of green, but no vines. And even though it’s not a playground, Jo Flo’s Jungle is a place for fun.
Jo Flo is Pelham High School’s varsity basketball coach Joel Floyd. His jungle is the PHS basketball student section that occupies a sizable portion of the stands when the PHS varsity basketball team takes the court.
PHS students enjoy supporting one another with many sports boasting a student section or cheering squad. PHS athletes who play other sports, along with student musicians, singers, writers, actors and artists, all have representatives in Jo Flo’s Jungle.
“In past years, we’ve had between 150-200 students in our student section. This year, we’re hoping for 300 in the Jungle,” Floyd said.
Floyd took over as varsity basketball coach three years ago. At the time, students showed up for games against big rivals, but basketball crowds were usually light. Floyd wanted to bring more excitement to basketball season and get students in the stands.
“Having an intense student section creates a hectic environment for our opposition,” Floyd said. “We want every basketball game to be an event that students want to be a part of.”
“Basketball season is exciting because you are so close to the game. We get in the heads of opposing players because they hear everything we say,” PHS senior and letterman Caleb Turrentine said.
Jo Flo’s Jungle has previously sported T-shirts. This year, seniors Ty Pierce and Parker Curry approached Floyd with a new idea. They wanted Jo Flo’s Jungle spirit towels. Pierce and Curry are PHS varsity baseball players who enjoy being basketball fans during their off season. In Jo Flo’s Jungle, they cheer alongside football players, softball players, runners and even a few golfers.
PHS choir participates by having one or more students sing the national anthem for the home games.
“We support PHS basketball and appreciate the chance to be involved,” choir teacher Lynn Jebeles said.
“Pelham’s student section has grown into one of the best around,” said Floyd.
PHS basketball plays its first home game against Chelsea on Thursday, Nov. 17.
Please come out and experience Jo Flo’s Jungle at PHS.
Connie Nolen can be reached by email at CNolen@Shelbyed.k12.al.us.