The pandemic had a major impact on student’s lives, even long after school was back in session. Cole Burch and John Ross “JR” McCain took it upon themselves to bring back school spirit to Daviess County High School — and through various efforts they were successful. The two were among the 409 students who graduated from DCHS on Monday.
Burch said he wanted his classmates to experience real school spirit, because it had taken a dive during his first years in high school.
“My freshman year, we had one pep rally,” Burch said. “Then you come back from COVID and you couldn’t do anything like that.”
After joining an episode of an Owensboro Times podcast in May 2022, Burch decided to start his own at the school, highlighting athletes and teams throughout the 2022-23 school year.
Burch aimed to build up excitement, covering as many teams as he could. He wanted to put the spotlight on sports that were overshadowed by the “footballs and basketballs of the world.”
On a similar note, McCain said COVID-19 threw a loop in what he imagined the high school experience to be. He felt inspired in his urge to get to know people and bring back spirit.
McCain was friends with the baseball team and wanted to bring attention to them, so he started the “right field rowdies.” He and some other friends met up in pickup trucks and started going to games to cheer on their classmates.
“As the season went on, more and more people would want to sit with us in the trucks,” McCain said.
After baseball season, Burch invited McCain to start a podcast together to cover the DCHS intramural basketball events. The team typically flew under the radar, as it includes anyone who didn’t make varsity.
Both graduates agreed that the intramural podcast was a fun thing to do.
“We really hyped it up,” McCain said. “We had an Instagram account to follow teams and we gave out weekly awards on the podcast.”
Burch hopes to carry on his podcast work to college. He plans to join the football team and hopes to interview football players and keep up on his sports.
McCain plans to spread his school spirit to the University of Kentucky. He believes it will be a good opportunity to reach more students and get involved.
Burch and McCain are among of the 409 DCHS students who graduated Monday at Reid Stadium.
Speaking to the graduates, Daviess County Public Schools Superintendent Matt Robbins told students “There is value and reward in hard work. Remember that the most successful people in the world are rewarded in public for the work that they do, but not in private for the work that they do to prepare themselves.”