Much madness at basketball kickoff

Pelham High School basketball players join coach Scott Blair. (Contributed)

Pelham High School basketball players join coach Scott Blair. (Contributed)

By CONNIE NOLEN / Community Columnist
With Pelham High School’s season opening basketball games only weeks away, varsity coach Joel Floyd’s crew is almost ready. Beyond coaches and players, Floyd extends his crew into the student body and faculty. With the help of PHS teacher Karen Varner, Floyd organizes the school’s most resilient basketball fans into JoFlo’s Jungle—an official spirit group supporting PHS basketball.
“On Thursday, Oct. 23, Panther Madness basketball night kicked off the beginning of the basketball season for JoFlo’s Jungle as they prepare for the upcoming games,” said Floyd.
Player introductions, shooting contests complete with a sumo-wrestler costumed-player and impromptu dance moves generated laughter. The introduction of Coach Floyd was a bit disconcerting as he made his way onto the court, attempting to execute a back flip that went awry. Initially, I thought I snapped the final photo of a healthy Coach Floyd. Relieved when the flipping figure rebounded from the floor, I realized that this Floyd-double, although he had mastered the coach’s signature blond spiked hair, was too short to be Floyd.
Executing a perfect back flip to the delight of the crowd, this faux Floyd was soon replaced with the real coach and the night was off to a great start. Amidst the hype and pranks, all of the PHS basketball teams bonded with their biggest fans.
“I’m looking forward to our season with this team,” senior PHS basketball player Zach Allison said.
The $20 fee to be a part of JoFlo’s Jungle entitles students to two free T-shirts and free admission to all home basketball games.
“I love the T-shirts,” PHS junior Juliet Campbell said.
As a part of JoFlo’s Jungle, students always have friends waiting for them at the basketball games.
“Being a part of the student section and all of the hype makes us feel like we’re a part of the game,” PHS junior Connor Christian said.
“Getting the student section involved at Panther Madness starts the season right. Basketball players feed off of the energy of the crowd,” said PHS freshman Justin Allison.
For schedules, visit the Pelham Athletics Association website at Pelhamathletics.org/winter_sports.