Many deem school spirit as something of the past. Kids these days simply do not show their school pride as they did in prior decades. The same can’t be said for Clay County students, as Holly Hibbard has injected new life into the school with the creation of the ‘Tiger Tribe’. The newly formed student section has taken over each football game with its inception, and the movement is only growing stronger. I asked Holly a few questions about the Tiger Tribe, and she gave some flat-out awesome insight on the tribe.

The community has been asking, “who started the tribe?” “The concept and idea of the Tiger Tribe has always been present in Clay County,” said Hibbard. “Our community has had a long history of showing incredible support to our sports teams.  So, while the idea is not original, we do believe the structure and organization may be a little different than that of the past,” she explained. “The Tribe ultimately started when a couple of students asked me to lead and organize the group.  Before I was even asked though, I knew that I wanted to do something like the Tiger Tribe here at Clay County High.  Our first step together was to develop a name for the group.  We conducted a school-wide poll, and the majority of the students selected the Tiger Tribe.”            

Now that we understand how it was formed, Holly got down to business as to why she took this upon herself and others to form the group. “The “why,” behind the Tiger Tribe is a bit personal,” says Hibbard, a CCHS graduate. “When many people are asked about Clay County, they often follow with a reply that is negative and condescending. This often bothers me because while our county is far from perfect, it has instilled in me a great deal of pride. I often refer to it as, “Tiger Pride.” This pride has been one of the driving forces in my life and has propelled me to succeed at many levels. I hope this sense of pride trickles down to not only my students, but to my sons. It doesn’t matter where you come from or what you started from, all that matters is’ how you finish. This is the vision and idea that we have for the TRIBE.”  

Call it a youth movement if you like; A younger generation of energetic individuals are taking the school by storm. “As of now, we already have incredible leadership in place with special individuals such as Jeremy Baker, Chelsie Wolfe, and Trinity Downey,” says Hibbard. “These people exemplify what the TRIBE is supposed to be and look like: a community of people that laugh, love, and care deeply about each other. There is no room for individual agendas or deceit.  Just people looking to serve the next person.  As for students, our TRIBE is growing daily, and we are having a blast!  Remember, The TRIBE is for everyone, regardless of status or athletic ability.  If you are from Clay County, you belong, you are considered family, and you are a part of us.”

As it’s merely just beginning, Hibbard can foresee the student section reaching new heights and growing each week. “We hope that the TRIBE continues to grow,” she says. “The support that we have already received from the community has been amazing!  We could call it quits right now, and confidently say that we have had a tremendous time!  The group and students have already surpassed expectations! We look to continue this upward trend as we are constantly planning future events for the group.”

 A few of the CCHS students were on hand to be available for comment on why they joined the Tiger Tribe, and what it means to them.

John Lucas Hubbard – “I joined the Tiger Tribe because I love to support all of our sports teams and be a participant in all of the fun activities and themes we have. Tiger Tribe is also a great way to bring the community together and make new friends.” 

Luke Gregory – “I joined the Tiger Tribe because I enjoy going to the games and having a good time when I get there. That’s what the Tiger Tribe is one big party!”

Connor Farmer – “I joined the Tiger Tribe because I love supporting my school. It is always fun getting involved in school activities. It is fun because we get to do our own thing, whether that be making up the themes for the games or making our chants to cheer our team on. I also play sports, so I hope by being a leader in Tiger Tribe others will join and the pride of being will keep on growing throughout the year.” 

Chloe Asher – “I joined the Tiger Tribe because I am proud to be a CC Tiger. Clay County is known for being big on sports, and the tribe supports every sporting even that we can. We keep a fair game and even treat the opposing team with respect no matter the outcome of the game. Our leaders always come up with fun activities for us to do and make sure we are always having a good time. I always wear my black and gold with pride!” 

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