Most teenaged boys don’t know on Thursday what they will wear to the Friday-night football game. But Hinsdale South Senior Mike Tomerlin, who leads the school’s Super Fans, knew long before kickoff that he, like the rest of the Super Fans, would be dressed head to toe in neon for the home opener against Downers Grove North. Tomerlin started running the student fan section last year and hopes not only to offer his fellow students a fun Friday night, but to leave Hinsdale South with a stronger and bigger group of Hornet-loving Super Fans.
Q. What is the theme for the home opener?
A. We have a neon theme.
Q. Why is it important to have a theme for each game?
To make us stand out and to be as obvious as possible. For the opener we have a neon theme. Last year we had a pink-out for breast cancer awareness and a black out night.
Q. What else do the Super Fans do to make themselves noticed?
A. We make a lot of noise. I bring a bucket that my dad uses to store tools, and a pair of drumsticks. We do whatever we can to make as much noise as possible.
Q. The Super Fans sit next to the marching band. Do you collaborate?
A. When they play “Don’t Stop Believing” and “Hey Baby,” we all sing and just go nuts for those songs.
Q. Are you a Hornet fan or a football fan?
A. I am both. I’m not strictly devoted to football. I do this same thing for the girls and boys basketball games.
Q. Do you play any sports yourself?
A. I’m on the volleyball team.
Q. Why do you think the Super Fan section is important?
A. From a player’s perspective, it makes a difference if you have a group of people cheering for you. It gives you a boost of energy and motivation.
Q. What are you doing to attract more students to be Super Fans?
A. We have a tailgate before every game. This year we have a permanent griller for free hot dogs. We throw bags, play music and help people who want to paint their faces for the game. I feel like we’re going to have a bigger turnout this year.
Q. How many students typically turn out for the Super Fan section?
A. Our pre-game tailgates usually attract between 55 and 80 students. Most of them go to the game. I make a Facebook event before every home game.
Q. Are Super Fans all-weather fans?
A. No matter what the conditions are, we do our best. I remember one night last season that was drizzling, really cold. But that just made us cheer louder. We knew the team was cold, too, so we cheered them on.
Q. Are you grooming anyone to take over when you graduate?
A. There are several people who I know are up to the task. I know they will keep it going.
Q. How do you expect the football team to do this year?
A. I honestly think we’re going to do good.