Start with a dominating basketball team. Mix in a dance party and throw in a dash of Halloween and what do you have? A Lauderdale County girls basketball game experience.
Sometimes it’s hard to decide which is more entertaining. The defending state champion Tigers or the LCHS student cheering section, known as the Scream Team.
“Those guys play a big part in what we do on the court,” Lauderdale County freshman shooting guard Emma Wallen said. “They help us get more hyped up. That whole part of the game is so much more fun.”
Fun is what the Scream Team is all about, group leader Ethan Cox, a LCHS senior, said.
“That’s the main goal,” Cox said. “We’re here for the girls, but we like to have a little fun in the process.”
And the Scream Team’s version of fun includes choreographed cheers, zany costumes and lots of dancing. Go to any given Lauderdale County playoff game and you’ll see a banana, a gorilla, a guy in a tuxedo, and many more characters. Cox is the one in the Viking helmet.
“We saw other student sections had crazy guys dressed up, and we had to do that too,” Cox said. “I talked to some guys, and they said they had all sorts of crazy costumes. The members from (the rock band) KISS will be in attendence (at the Northwest Regional championship game today). So that’s something to look forward to.”
And then there’s the dancing.
With the Harlem Shake having become an internet sensation, it only seemed natural that the Scream Team would film its own version. For those unfamiliar with the internet meme, the Harlem Shake is a short dance video where someone, usually wearing a mask or costume, dances by themselves to the song Harlem Shake by Baauer. After 15 seconds, the bass line of the song kicks in and the video cuts to a large crowd dancing randomly.
Cox and the Scream Team filmed their version of the Harlem Shake at Lauderdale County’s sub-regional playoff game against West Morgan and posted it to YouTube, where it has received close to 3,500 views. And yes, that is Cox in the wolf mask out front dancing.
“We saw the (Harlem Shake) internet sensation blowing up, and we had to do it,” Cox said. “We did it the last home game, edited it and put it on YouTube. Everyone put it on their Twitter and Facebook pages, and it really took off.”
So much so that the group performed it again at Lauderdale County’s Northwest Regional game against Winfield on Thursday. This time, everyone in the building was ready for it.
“Everyone knew it was coming,” Cox said. “People got out their cameras and video recorders, even people from the opposing team were recording it. Seeing that was pretty awesome.”
Not bad for something that pretty much spontaneously came together late in the regular season.
The group’s genesis was the Tigers’ Lauderdale County Tournament game against rival Lexington, in which the student sections of the two schools went back and forth at each other with cheers and chants the entire game.
Cox decided the LCHS cheering section needed an identity and name, and came up with the Scream Team. He and other members of the group searched the internet for cheers and ideas for appropriate student section behavior, and not surprisingly, took inspiration from Duke University’s Cameron Crazies student section.
“We’re not quite on their level, but we’re kind of like the high school version of that,” Cox said. “We watch basketball games, go on YouTube and Google and look at all sorts of stuff. Anywhere we can get ideas, we try to use it. We do whatever we need to, wherever we get inspiration from.”
Cox designed T-shirts for the group with the words Scream Team and the logo from the popular movie franchise Scream. He ordered 120 Scream Team shirts, which the booster club paid for, and quickly gave every one of them away.
“Every game that’s gone on, we’ve gained more people in the student section,” Cox said. “It’s been really awesome the way it has grown.”
And don’t think the Lauderdale County players and coaches don’t notice.
“We love them,” Lauderdale County senior forward Karlee Brown said. “They make us play so much harder. They really keep the game exciting and keep us pumped.”
And that makes coach Brant Llewellyn’s job all the more easier.
“The student section has been awesome all postseason,” Llewellyn said. “Those students take pride in their school and show off their school spirit. The players and coaches really appreciate what they’ve been doing.”
And it’s comments like those that lets Cox know the Scream Team is doing it’s job.
“That’s the ultimate reward,” Cox said. “What we’re shooting for is to help them out. It’s not about us it’s about them. The greatest compliment we’ve ever gotten was from coach Llewellyn, who said we helped them win a game. That’s the ultimate. We’re here to help the team out any way we can. Whatever it takes, we’ll do it.”