What other schools can learn from JoFlo’s Jungle

The JoFlo Jungle cheers hard at Pelham Basketball games in hopes of giving the Panthers an advantage to win. ( contributed)

The JoFlo Jungle cheers hard at Pelham Basketball games in hopes of giving the Panthers an advantage to win. ( contributed)

By JON HARRISON / Staff Writer

When an opponent of the Pelham High School Panthers basketball team walks into Pelham’s gym they are met by an army of enthusiastic, school-spirit-filled students who are, as they say, about to “go ham.”

This group of students is known as “JoFlo’s Jungle” a highly organized group of students that show up to basketball games to show as much support as they can for the Panthers.

The term “JoFlo” is a nick name for Pelham boys basketball head coach Joel Floyd. The students at Pelham have the upmost respect for the bnasketball coach and they take their job of supporting the basketball team seriously. So seriously that JoFlo’s Jungle is an official school organization with official t-shirts and a volunteer teacher sponsor who are the cheering section at the varsity basketball games. These students give their all to support the basketball team at not just home games but away games as well.

Karen Varner is a health and history teacher at Pelham High School and also serves as sponsor of JoFlo’s Jungle.

“We organize meetings we order the T-shirts,” said Varner. “I do the JoFlo’s Jungle twitter account and I communicate with coach Floyd and see what he wants to talk to the kids about through that.”

Varner said the sponsor position is a rewarding one.

“I love to see kids having clean fun away from the party scene and all the bad stuff they could be doing,” said Varner. “With this we know they are at a high school basketball game staying out of trouble.”

A large part of JoFlo’s Jungle is their social media presence. Junior Logan Burnett is in charge of running the @TheRealJoFlo Twitter account, an informative but comedic personality who acts as coach Floyd.

“I started at the beginning of this year,” said Burnett. “Coach Floyd ask me to do it before basketball season. It was actually created a couple of years ago and it has been passed down.”

These students take this tradition to new levels and put their all into showing pride for their school.

These sorts of groups are important to any student body because it gives students a sense of pride and responsibility. When speaking with the students involved with JoFlo’s Jungle it is evident that this group means something to them and they mean something to each other.