Gryboski & McCarron Excited, Nervous About Responsibility of Their Roles


Abby Wittler, Staff Writer, Advanced Journalism

This year’s Fanman and Mermaid, Jake Gryboski and Brelyn McCarron, are just revving up to start a year full of fun and experiences.

So far they have been responsible for planning tailgates, deciding themes for football games and assisting in the planning of the recent pep assembly.

As for picking the themes, they “usually put up a twitter poll and let the people decide,” said Gryboski. The themes are narrowed down to two options and NDA’s student body gets to decide between them.

Before they could even advertise themes to the student body, they had to brainstorm ideas and get them approved by school administration.

“The senior girls have been a huge help this season with cheers,’ said McCarron. “They have made numerous signs and really helped make this year great.”

The girls let McCarron know when they want a cheer to get started and go up in the underclassman section to get them more fired up.

“For extra motivation during the game we all look to the student section.  It always helps when we can hear them supporting us,” said Will Sullivan, a senior wide receiver on the football team.

Both Fanman and Mermaid mentioned that they were very excited for this responsibility when they were elected but also nervous for all it would bring.

“I am excited to brew up some new ideas for upcoming pep assemblies and to get more students supporting sports that may not get as much recognition,” said McCarron about things she plans to do.

Gryboski said,  “The big plans depend on how far we get into the football playoffs.”

The fall pep assembly was a big success for Student Government and the students who participated in it.

“It was a good way to get excited for what is to come this school year and recognize all the fall sports,” said senior Katherine Zeise.

Gryboski said his favorite part of being Fanman are the halftime activities while  McCarron said there are too many good parts to pick a favorite.

Both McCarron and Gryboski said that their biggest challenge of the job is working to get themes approved and making everyone happy with their choices.

For those who don’t know the history of Fanman and Mermaid, the initial Fanman was born at a 1997 Halloween football game when Brendan (Ben) Reilly and friends decided to dress up in super-hero costumes for the game.  Reilly’s mom created the Super Fan costume he wore, which included the cape now framed in the auditorium hallway. When he graduated, Reilly gave the cape to junior Ryan Julka, who became the next Fanman. And the tradition continued.  

Several years later Sarah Sherman, now Sarah Taylor, decided we needed a Mermaid to go with Fanman.  A tail was part of her costume, but over the years the Mermaids decided a cape was easier to handle. A few years ago the two roles became elected leadership roles in Student Government.