Friday, November 13, 2009

The Kiltic Crew

I see some of these guys around town every once in while and just smile to myself.

Published Oct. 14, 2004, in the Keizertimes

Sideline entertainment at McNary's varsity volleyball matches this season has had nothing to do with pompoms or bullhorns.

One thing's for certain, no volleyball match would be the same without a round of "You've Lost That Lovin' Feeling" by the Celtic Kiltic Crew with solo by Michael Miller.

"Usually, we are so tired that the ideas just flow. Fortunately, most of them turn out to be gold," joked Garrett Johnson.

The Celtic Kiltic Crew, a name selected for the kilts they don, becomes the focal point of the Lady Celts' volleyball games as they try to whip the rest of the McNary High School fans into fervor during lulls in the court action.

The tactics have ranged from posting hand-drawn aces on the gymnasium wall each time a Lady Celt makes a point, to leading the crowd with the "belly rally" by hiking up their shirts and patting their stomachs. The Kiltics seem to come up with something new each week.

"We have to be careful, because if we get too rowdy or make noise at the wrong time, they'll give the other team a point," said Brian Aebi.

Sudden noises during serves are one of the instances that will get the Lady Celts penalized.

"We do anything we can just to get in the other team's head," said Casey Miller.

If an opposing player hits a ball into the net, then the Kiltics start a chant of "There's a net there." An ace by one of the Lady Celts elicits, "Awww, snap, you got served."

"We try to play off the other team's mistakes," said Brian.

The volleyball program donated two volleyballs and shirts for each of the Kiltics earlier this season. The balls were cut up and colored Celtic blue, both are now used as helmets. The shirts were personalized in a variety of ways. The kilts, worn to school every Friday, were made by Manya Phillips, mother of Matt, another member of the Kiltics.

Prior to the completion of their manly skirts, the guys used a different theme during each of the volleyball matches.

"We had 'Top Gun' night, '80s night, and a bunch of others," said Johnson.

Most of the crew prefers volleyball to football because of the close proximity to the opposing team's fans inside the gym.

"Football is a different type of cheering," said Garrett.

During the varsity games the Kiltics do their best to mimic the actions of the cheerleaders - with varying degrees of success.

"We just want to be entertaining, it's not something we sit around and practice," said Brian.

So far this season, members of the Kiltics have made it to every McNary home game and missed just three away games.

The ragtag group of seniors were disappointed with the seniors last year who failed to pull out all the stops in developing a spirit squad.

"We felt like it was up to us to make up for it this year," said Michael.

Other members of the Kiltics include Curtis Woolard, Tyler McCann, Lawson Smith and Caleb Ingersol.

When their not rousing the McNary fans, the Kiltics perform on the court as members of the Boys & Girls Club Possums, a slapstick basketball team that can end up playing 5-on-1.

All of the Kiltics agreed that their performances during games are extensions of who they are in everyday life.

"I don't think anyone would be surprised that we were the ones to take this up," said Casey.

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