MegaFan Program Launches to Build School Spirit


Jaedyn Worley

The MegaFan program encourages student attendance at athletic events. MegaFan prizes are awarded weekly.

Bailey Smith, Staff Reporter

Because Great Crossing High School is relatively new, its teams, clubs, extracurriculars, and programs are still under development. MegaFan is an example of one new program for this school year with a goal of inspiring more school spirit that officially launched in August as fall sports kicked off.

 The program was created by GCHS athletic director and assistant principal Austin Haywood. MegaFan encourages students to actively participate in school events and build school spirit while competing against other students in a friendly and engaging way.  There is also a component for faculty/staff participation as well. 

Haywood has always been passionate about building school spirit, including when he was a student himself. “When I was a high school senior, I got the superlative of the most school spirit, and I took a lot of pride in that. I wanted to find a way to get more students out to the games and rebuild the community after covid,” he explained.

Haywood said, “It’s been a goal of mine to find a way to get more students involved in athletics. Today students have more options for things to do, more than just attending a game.” Haywood believes that attending school events does more than just provide safe entertainment for students. He said, “It provides a base of spirit for the school, and develops a sense of pride.”

It’s something I definitely look forward to because you can win things. But it’s more than that; when you see your peers around the hallway that play these sports, and they know you came to watch them, it’s a sign of support.

— Caleb Morrison, senior

The idea of the program is that students earn points for events that they attend. Students check in at games by scanning a QR code and completing a google form that tracks their attendance. Students are not limited to a single event per day either. “The idea is that you can check into multiple games if two games are going on,” stated Haywood.  For example, if a freshman football game and a volleyball game were on the same night, but at different times, students could attend and check in at both.

MegaFan does have benefits for the students. “First is that you are present, having fun with your peers, and enjoying the experience. There will be pages for the top 5 point earners for every season, fall, spring, and winter,” explained Haywood. Not only is the experience a reward, but prizes are passed out weekly to the highest point earners. “Prizes range from concession passes, game passes, spirit cards, and school gear,” said Haywood. 

Senior Caleb Morrison, a co-op student for the athletic department, assists Haywood with the program. “I help him [Haywood] keep track of the points of everybody. It’ll come from an Excel Spreadsheet for specific sports, and I’ll transfer it from that into a master sheet and it shows everybody who is scanned for like volleyball, football, and soccer. And then when spring sports come around I’ll do the same thing with those.” 

In addition to helping track game attendance, Morrison has also been a MegaFan of the week himself. He has enjoyed the program from the student perspective. “It’s something I definitely look forward to because you can win things. But it’s more than that; when you see your peers around the hallway that play these sports, and they know you came to watch them, it’s a sign of support. ”

Another MegaFan of the week was junior Jasie Kirby. Kirby said, “It shows you have school spirit when you go to the games and are supportive. And I think it’s great because it gets people out and they get a reward for supporting their school.” 

Haywood has additional plans for the program, but he knows he can’t do it alone. “Mrs. Catron, the Kettle sponsor, and Mrs. Morrison, our athletic bookkeeper, are helping me build the plane as the year goes on. My hope is that this grows, becomes more familiar and it builds into an expectation. We hope to build up to better prizes and ask students for feedback.” 

Haywood is also attending an athletic directors conference in April to share and potentially spread this idea around the state.

Morrison also sees this program being an important part of building school spirit in the future, “It brings more students out to less popular sports, like everybody goes to football games, but I see it bringing more people out to the volleyball, softball, and soccer games. Just some of the more less in the spotlight sports.”

The leaderboards are posted weekly on the district’s Facebook and Twitter pages. At the end of the year, Haywood stated that a male and female MegaFan leaders of the year will be recognized at the Hawkspy awards ceremony. The winners will get a $200 gift card to the BSN store to get school gear, etc. 

As of now, only students who attend athletic events can check in and earn points, but Haywood states that may change, “We eventually hope to spread this into the community. And also events that involve band, choir, theater and others. Events that are a one time thing or a short run, we will tag those events with double points to encourage students to attend.”