(The Spring Garden video is at the bottom …)
They love their sports in Spring Garden, and if it means they need to wear masks to slow the spread of COVID-19 and avoid a suspension of their sports year, they’re willing to do it.
And, they’ll have a little fun with it along the way.
Directed by Spring Garden School faculty member Kevin Ward, about a dozen senior athletes and cheerleaders collaborated on a video urging the community to “mask up” so the school can have a full season of athletics. The video was posted on the Spring Garden Network’s Facebook page and has drawn more than 2,400 views. Two different posts of the video on the school’s Twitter account have combined for more than 1,200 views.
“During the summer when we were thinking about ways to get kids to buy into wearing masks, and a video was one of the ideas,” said Ward, a Spring Garden football and basketball coach, an ISS teacher, and an administrator for the school’s social media accounts.
The video lasts one minute, 12 seconds, and it’s a nod to “The Breakfast Club,” a teen movie released in 1985.
The theme song from the movie, “Don’t You (Forget About Me)” by Simple Minds, serves as the background music. The Spring Garden video begins and ends with the students walking toward the camera and leaping in the air, where they’re caught in a freeze frame.
Ward acknowledged he is a “huge” fan of “The Breakfast Club” but that it wasn’t his idea to use that movie as a source of inspiration. Instead, senior football player Luke Welsh mentioned it.
“When we approached the kids about the idea of a video, they were really excited about it, and I wanted to leave it up to them how we would do it,” Ward said. “Luke asked about ‘Breakfast Club’ and having it end with a leap in the air like they did in ’80s videos.”
In the video, the students seemed to enjoy themselves.
“I probably looked goofy,” Welsh said, smiling. “But, we had fun. It’s for the school. Whatever it takes to have a full season.”
Between the leaps at the beginning and end of the video, they promote the message of wearing masks, but they’re enjoying themselves. Senior Weston Kirk is seen wearing a mask covering his whole face, not just his nose and mouth. Welsh is seen laughing about it.
Alexis Adkinson messed up the first time in her attempt to ask folks to wear masks, before nailing it the second time. Both takes are included, with Adkinson smiling the whole way through it.
Spring Garden quarterback Ryley Kirk appears dead serious as he asks for people to wear masks.
“None of them are acting,” Ward said. “They’re just being themselves. What you see from Ryley, that’s how he is.”
There’s even a special appearance by Spring Garden basketball and volleyball coach Ricky Austin.
“I turned the corner and saw them, and Coach Ward said, ‘Hey, coach, you want to be in our ‘mask up’ video?” Austin said, laughing. “I said, ‘Sure!’ It’s all seniors in the video, and they’re taking responsibility for their year. You can see they have a lot of passion for making sure they get a full season.”
For Spring Garden, perhaps the message of wearing masks to avoid interruptions of their seasons means even more than at some other schools. In addition to participating on a team and being with friends, Spring Garden athletes are expected to compete for championships.
They draw community support across the board — boys and girls sports; fall, winter and spring.
“At some schools, they’re all about one sport, but at Spring Garden, everybody is for every sport,” Kirk said while he and Welsh watched the school’s volleyball team beat Gaston. “All the teams get a lot of support.”
Ward said he hopes the love of the school and its teams are helping slow the spread of COVID-19 locally.
“We haven’t had a serious outbreak,” said Ward, a 1999 Spring Garden graduate. “People here love the school and love the community. They have so much pride in what we do here. So, people are willing to do what it takes to support the school.”