Cub Issue Edition:
Heading into next year, N-Zone’s future looks bright with success, as they are planning on revamping their main themes. Some of N-Zone’s past themes included USA, sports jerseys, blackouts, whiteouts, and more. Their main objective is to promote school spirit and get students to come to DGN athletic events.
The N-Zone Twitter account is their main source of promotion for sporting events, as well as the Friday video announcements. With the direction of Mark Mirandola, the DGN CTE department chair, N-Zone has become a common sight at football and basketball games over the years.
In 2009, Mirandola and varsity basketball coach, Jim Thomas began N-Zone with the exact goal of an organized student section. Mirandola has always been a part of N-Zone, but taken on a limited responsibility from his original role as the main sponsor.
“Over the first few years, Special Services teacher, Kim Jaros, and I were officially the sponsors. So, I have the longest history with this group. I still attend some meetings, help design and order shirts, and help organize and supervise many of the events. And as Assistant Student Activities Director, I have a role in helping oversee the group,” Mirandola said.
As of 2017, business teacher Andrew Himes and science teacher Megan Gilbert are the two main sponsors for N-Zone.
“I think N-Zone has had a successful year. The students have had a great experience attending basketball and football games this season. We hope to attend other sporting events that don’t get as much attention in the future,” Gilbert said.
In her first year with N-Zone, junior Evie Brindl enjoyed her experience as an N-Zone leader and wants to see more growth in the group.
“Being a part of N-Zone is awesome because it brings everyone together. No matter what your interests are, everyone can relate to one another to have fun,” Brindl said.
With the help of four to five leaders, N-Zone comes to life on game day with eventful themes that encourage students to attend games.
“One of my favorite parts of N-Zone is finding cool themes to use. I like to talk to some of the players on the team we are supporting and get their perspective on what they want their student section to look like! That way no one feels left out and everyone is connected,” Brindl said.
N-Zone continues to recruit more members as students become aware of ways they would like to be involved, including athletes not apart of winter or fall sports.
“N-Zone needs more hype around school when multiple seasons are in session. Hype videos, more frequent tweets, and potentially an Instagram page are things that I could bring to the table in order add to the excitement of upcoming games,” junior Sarah Jaworski said.
“Because I had football for five months, I knew I could not join N-Zone then. However, I had been interested in joining, so I decided that this year would be the year,” senior Tyler Wicks said.
During basketball season, N-Zone implemented a new fan-friendly activity during halftime of home games. Students are given ticket numbers, and if their number is pulled from a pot, the student has an opportunity to attempt a half-court shot. If the student makes it, they win 200 dollars.
“I think the half-court shot challenge was a great idea that was put together by our leaders. It allows the fans to become more engaged during a game and add to the electric atmosphere of the student section,” Wicks said.
Wicks believes that N-Zone is moving in the right direction. With a few changes, he says that the group will become even better.
“We are doing a lot of things well, but there are some things we could definitely improve on. Our Twitter account is only teacher-led at the moment, which makes it more difficult to cover all of the sports at school. If we allowed the account to be student-led, I think the fans would enjoy the tweets and updates even more,” Wicks said.
With N-Zone already established as a prominent group at DGN, it will be interesting to see what new ideas they create in the future. Members will take anyone’s advice to make the group better, as long as it is within reason. Students can get involved by following @dgNzone on Twitter, and attending meetings throughout the year, everyone is invited.