EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

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March 6, 2013

Hoop-la

Fans from rival schools fight hard to support their teams

LAWRENCE — After a close first quarter, the Central Catholic High School boys basketball team breezed to a 13-point victory last night.

But for much of the game, it sure sounded like their rivals — Andover High’s Golden Warriors — were winning the Division 1 North Semifinals showdown.

The Lawrence High School basketball court served as a neutral site for the game, though Andover High’s fan club, known as Jack’s Jungle, rooted their team on like they owned the court — even when Central Catholic’s Raiders were winning by 18 points.

Central Catholic’s student fans, led by their famous neon Green Man, were loud. But they were outnumbered and no match for Andover High’s boisterous fans, clad in gold and blue T-shirts with “Welcome to the Jungle” printed on the front.

“We took four buses here tonight,” said Adam Weisman, an 18-year-old senior who is credited with organizing Jack’s Jungle, named after Andover’s starting guard Jack Konevich.

After being student manager of the basketball team for his first three years, Weisman said he decided it would be fun to run the student cheering section.

“Our fans section hasn’t been great for a few years, especially since what happened last year,” Weisman said, referring to the hazing scandal that led to several starters being suspended or kicked off the team. “But this year, we worked hard to bring the spirit back. There’s about 300 of us (students) here tonight to cheer our team on.”

Helping Weisman to pump up the Andover High fans was Ryan MacRae, a senior who referred to herself as “a super fan” and acted like one.

“The school voted the both of us the most spirited,” the 18-year-old said of the honor she shared with Weisman. “So, I take that to heart and want to do my school proud. I wear the same shirt and the same sweatpants every game because I am superstitious.”

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