Note: This story appeared in the March 2021 issue of Centerville-Washington Neighbors Magazine, which is mailed monthly to 3,661 homes in the community.
By Jeff Louderback
Elk Pride Never Dies.
Driven by the motto “Let us be known by our spirit,” The Herd embraces the #EPND hashtag and slogan that it created by connecting students from all groups at Centerville High School (CHS).
Athletes. Theater performers. Band musicians. Student council members. Club participants. All are welcome in The Herd.
“It’s a way to feel part of something, even if you are not involved in an organized sport, club or activity,” said Sherry Monaghan, a marketing and sports economics teacher at CHS and advisor of The Herd. “The Herd cultivates a sense of community within the high school and strives to make a positive impact in the Centerville community.”
Sherry was approached by CHS students Nick Bertrams and Andrew Holmes in 2012. They wanted to create a more organized student spirit section at football and basketball games and other events. The Herd was born, and it has emerged as a memorable part of the CHS experience for many students.
“Each year the current Herd leaders nominate rising seniors to take over for the next school year. I review the nominations with school administrators, and we select leaders from the approved names,” Sherry explained. “Every summer we look at the upcoming year and circle key events and dates, including marquee games with rivals, and we develop a plan.”
Fall is also the spirit chain fundraiser with Fairmont High School.
“We select a different charity to benefit each year,” Sherry said. “Overall we’ve raised more than $2 million between the two schools since the spirit chain started. In 2020, we held a drive-thru food drive that we promoted with the National Honor Society, raising $3,712 in four hours for a food bank.”
The Herd is active on Instagram and Twitter. Though attendance at athletic events has been limited over the last year, during most years The Herd makes its presence known at football and basketball games and soccer matches. Blackouts. Gold rushes. Whiteouts. There are multiple themes each season, and The Herd’s enthusiasm gives the Elks an even greater home field and home court advantage.
“‘Let us be known by our spirit’ are not just words that form a motto. We put that into action by what The Herd does and symbolizes,” Sherry said. “The Herd makes a difference in the lives of our students and the community as a whole. It’s a legacy in which everyone is proud to be involved.”