Nick Schweich is Hastings Raiders' superfan
Hastings High School senior Nick Schweich loves his school. From the teachers and his fellow students to Raider sports and the building itself, "it's just a great school," he said.
His enthusiasm earned him a relatively new honor at HHS. At the end of the school year last year, he was named Hastings' 2012-13 superfan by Lenny Weiss, who was last year's superfan. It's a tradition that began just three years ago with Mikey Klein, who passed the title to Weiss. Whoever carries the Raider flag picks the next superfan.
Superfans aren't uncommon in area high schools. Hastings is the only one in the area that only has one superfan, Schweich said. He met many of the others the week before the Hastings football team played Cretin-Derham Hall at a superfan conference. The conference talked about ways to be a better superfan, such as learning what sort of cheering is disrespectful.
The superfan attends all the home football games and as many of the other varsity home events to inspire the crowd and cheer on the Raiders. Of course, there's more to it than cheering from the stands. Schweich runs around with a Raider flag whenever the home team scores, and oftentimes he does so wearing a bright blue morph suit.
"I get really into it," he said, "especially at volleyball games, 'cause everyone can hear you."
Schweich can be found cheering on the blue and gold at about six games each week during the fall. Being the superfan means Schweich has to be at every home football game, but he does his best to get to all the other sports as well - even those that don't generally include a lot of cheering.
"In tennis you can't be loud, I tried that already," he said.
Cross country meets pose more difficulty, simply because the athletes don't stay in one spot. Schweich said he was going to ride a bike alongside of them to cheer on the Hastings runners, but never got to.
The wintertime will be busier, with more sports to attend. Schweich also plays hockey, so he has a substitute in mind in case he gets on the varsity lineup.
The job can be an emotional one at times. Schweich said one of the most memorable moments so far for him was the win against Cretin-Derham Hall. It was a big, emotional win for him and the rest of the fans and team, and it was also the loudest game he had ever seen, he said.
"I couldn't talk by the end of it or the next day, but it was fun," he said.
Other big moments were the Raiders' overtime win over Roseville and a game against Woodbury, which fell not long after the death of Maddy Sake. At the Woodbury game, fans dressed in black in honor of their classmate, and Woodbury fans came holding a sign that read "Hastings in our thoughts and prayers." It meant a lot to Schweich, he said, especially since Maddy was a friend of his.
It's not just the big moments Schweich enjoys, though. The best part about being the Raiders superfan is simply spending time with his classmates.
"Just being with everybody and having a good time... that's what high school is all about," he said.
"It's a really fun experience. I know I'm going to remember this for the rest of my life."