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  • November 8Boys' football: 2018-19 season opener has opponent shake-up, Buffalo Grove replaces Lockport

N-Zone expectations remain high for next year

HITTING+THE+COURTS%3A+Students%2C+led+by+N-Zone%2C+cheer+in+Christmas+apparel+to+help+support+the+boys%27+varsity+basketball+team+to+victory+against+DGS+on+Dec.+17.
HITTING THE COURTS: Students, led by N-Zone, cheer in Christmas apparel to help support the boys' varsity basketball team to victory against DGS on Dec. 17.

HITTING THE COURTS: Students, led by N-Zone, cheer in Christmas apparel to help support the boys' varsity basketball team to victory against DGS on Dec. 17.

Denise Kavanaugh

Denise Kavanaugh

HITTING THE COURTS: Students, led by N-Zone, cheer in Christmas apparel to help support the boys' varsity basketball team to victory against DGS on Dec. 17.

Zain Bando, Staff Writer

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Heading into next year, N-Zone plans on revamping their main themes. Past themes included USA, sports jerseys, blackouts, whiteouts and more. Their main objective is to promote school spirit and get students to come to athletic events.

The N-Zone Twitter account is their main source of promotion for sporting events. With the direction of Mark Mirandola, the 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 goal of an organized student section.

“Over the first few years, Kim Jaros [Special Services teacher] and I were officially the sponsors. So, I have the longest history with this group,” Mirandola said. “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.”

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 plans fun-filled 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.

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,” N-Zone member senior Tyler 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. As long as it is within reason, members are willing to take anyone’s advice to make the group better. Students can get involved by following @dgNzone on Twitter, and attending meetings throughout the year.

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N-Zone expectations remain high for next year