U-High Midway

Maroon fans energize Roman stands

U-High students support their peers on Latin's hockey team

LAB+PRIDE.+Junior+Gabriella+Gruszka+cheers+on+the+Latin+boys+hockey+game+at+Johnny%E2%80%99s+Icehouse+to+support+U-High+classmates+Nicholas+Beach%2C+Karan+Gangwani+and+Grant+Fishman+Oct.+27.+The+Latin+School+team+is+made+up+of+students+from+different+schools+around+the+city.+Despite+living+far+from+the+rink%2C+Gabby+has+been+to+four+games+so+far+this+season+and+has+encouraged+her+friends+to+go%2C+too.+%0A
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Maroon fans energize Roman stands

LAB PRIDE. Junior Gabriella Gruszka cheers on the Latin boys hockey game at Johnny’s Icehouse to support U-High classmates Nicholas Beach, Karan Gangwani and Grant Fishman Oct. 27. The Latin School team is made up of students from different schools around the city. Despite living far from the rink, Gabby has been to four games so far this season and has encouraged her friends to go, too.

LAB PRIDE. Junior Gabriella Gruszka cheers on the Latin boys hockey game at Johnny’s Icehouse to support U-High classmates Nicholas Beach, Karan Gangwani and Grant Fishman Oct. 27. The Latin School team is made up of students from different schools around the city. Despite living far from the rink, Gabby has been to four games so far this season and has encouraged her friends to go, too.

Odysseas Nikas

LAB PRIDE. Junior Gabriella Gruszka cheers on the Latin boys hockey game at Johnny’s Icehouse to support U-High classmates Nicholas Beach, Karan Gangwani and Grant Fishman Oct. 27. The Latin School team is made up of students from different schools around the city. Despite living far from the rink, Gabby has been to four games so far this season and has encouraged her friends to go, too.

Odysseas Nikas

Odysseas Nikas

LAB PRIDE. Junior Gabriella Gruszka cheers on the Latin boys hockey game at Johnny’s Icehouse to support U-High classmates Nicholas Beach, Karan Gangwani and Grant Fishman Oct. 27. The Latin School team is made up of students from different schools around the city. Despite living far from the rink, Gabby has been to four games so far this season and has encouraged her friends to go, too.

Emma Trone, Editor in chief

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As juniors Nick Beach and Karan Gangwani skate onto the ice before a hockey game, their teammates beside them aren’t usually U-High classmates. On this team, players from Latin, Parker, Walter Payton and Whitney Young all share the same uniform.

With a team comprised of athletes from schools across the city, the fans come from all over, too. Growing numbers of U-High fans cheering in the stands are making the U-High players feel like they’re on home ice.

Through word-of-mouth and using social media, Nick and Karan have rallied support for the team among their U-High friends and classmates.

“Both Nick and I have been telling anyone in our grade to come out on a Friday or Saturday night and give us support, because the more people we have at games the better it is,” Karan said. “It gives the team more momentum, and it gives us the feeling that we’re playing on home ice and not just a regular rink.”

Games are played at Johnny’s Ice House in the West Loop, a location which requires a bit of effort to get U-High students to attend.

“The big thing we’ve been using so far has been Facebook invites. So for example, with [the Oct. 26]  game against New Trier, I invited 194 kids from Lab on Facebook,” Nick said. “At one of our bigger home games, we had around 30 Lab students show up.”

Junior Gabby Gruzka has attended four of the team’s games, after Nick encouraged her to attend.

“The games are really exciting and energetic, especially when the parents get all riled up. It’s pretty amusing,” Gabby said. “The games are in the West Loop, which is fairly far from where I live, but it’s worth going because I love cheering for the team, especially if my friends are playing. Since we don’t have a hockey team, and the kids at Lab play for Latin, it’s nice to go out and support them.”

Sammy Rodman, a senior, has attended two games and said the U-High fans make an impact in the stands.

“It’s actually interesting because we have by far the biggest fan base, and there are only, like, four Lab players on the team,” she said. “The parents of other players make jokes like, ‘Cheer for my kid, too,’ because there aren’t that many fans sometimes.”

Whether or not U-High fans come in droves to support the joint team, Nick said playing has given him a sense of connection to the community.

“I have a lot of Lab pride, even if I don’t show it all the time. Being able to play, and represent Lab through my sport is kind of a proud moment,” Nick said. “Even though we’re still not widely recognized, over time if we start winning stuff hopefully that will change. But regardless, being able to represent Lab warms my heart.”

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Maroon fans energize Roman stands