12th man is something that has been around Lees Summit West for years, providing a large fan base for all sports games. This year’s group of seniors hopes to continue to pass on the legacy to the younger members of 12.
If you’ve attended a Lee’s Summit West sporting event, you may or may not know that a select group of spirited guys spend a lot of time and energy behind the scenes to make each sporting event — at home or away — very memorable for everyone in the stands.
Senior Jake Wilcox said, “12th Man is special because you can’t really join, you’re chosen by the upperclassmen. I took the opportunity as I thought it would be a good way to get more involved with the school. We’re a group of people who decide themes, lead chants, and bring people together in school spirit.”
Wilcox serves as one of the senior members of 12th Man, and strives to set a good example for his 12th Man brothers and for the entire West community. “My goal is to be the loudest person at the game, and the most respectful,” Wilcox said. “It’s definitely a bonding experience because we all share the same experience of being on 12 and taking this leadership role. I’ve built friendships that I never thought I would build.”
Seniors Zach Mall and Brady Snyder are also members of 12th Man, striving to bring energy and leave an impact at every sporting event game and enjoying every bit of fun along the way. Mall said, “It’s a great experience because you get to get close with a lot of the other guys, and it’s a fun experience to end your senior year.” Mall was selected to join 12th Man by the 2021 graduting members that he had classes with last year and got to know. Whether it’s a jersey themed game, or business casual, Mall lives for it all. “My goal is to get into the other team’s head.”
For Snyder, 12th Man is more than just chants and cheers, it’s an opportunity to have a positive impact in the West community. “12 builds a bridge between our community and Lee’s Summit West. We represent our student section and our student body. I strive to make sure everyone is following the rules and having fun, safely. The seniors that graduated last year set a good example and really motivated me to get my school spirit on.” Snyder’s favorite tradition is making banners before every Friday game to put in front of the student section. “It’s really like a team bond — because we have to work together to paint banners and prepare for events together.”
Wilcox, Mall, and Snyder said their parting advice to any underclassmen that think they may have the spirit and endurance to make the cut for the 12th Man brotherhood was to “Talk to the current upperclassmen, show up to every game, be loud, stand out, show your spirit,” Wilcox said. Snyder added “Make friends with the juniors that are on it now because they will be the captains next year picking.” For Mall, he said it’s simple, “Make sure you can go hard!” and always remember to buck those broncos, as Wilcox, Mall and snyder say.