Thornapple Kellogg — After football games, players leave the field and spectators leave the stands. At Thornapple Kellogg High School, a group of students stays behind to clean up the student section and the rest of the bleachers.
As student section leaders, senior Landon Conroy said it’s about getting everyone excited during games, but it’s also about setting a good example for their school.
“It was a tradition that started five years ago, where students would stay after football games to clean trash out of the stands,” he said. “It’s the least we can do to pick up our own mess and help out the custodians.”
Principal Tony Petersen said students started staying after games to clean up with former Assistant Principal Kevin Remenap, who died in 2021.
“It’s come full circle now for us as seniors,” Sahara Coston said. “Now we’re the student section leaders and we’re all friends, so it’s a good time and doesn’t feel like work.”
When the student section travels for away games, they still stay after the clock runs out to pick up trash from the bleachers.
Outside of football games and other sporting events, the group is looking forward to making memories of their last year of high school and maintaining their close friendships.
“Our school isn’t that big, so everyone knows everyone and our whole class is cool with each other,” Sahara said. “High school has taught me how to get along with people you wouldn’t normally talk to.”
The seniors hope younger students will continue the tradition.
“When we are in college, we hope to come back and still see students picking up even after we’re gone,” senior Emma Schut said.
Eva advised their successors, “Don’t take it as a chore but an opportunity to help, and be willing and happy to do it.”
Read more from Thornapple Kellogg:
• Faux toxic spill averted, thanks to teams of students
• Leader in school ready for new challenge