Central launches new tradition; ‘State Walk’ honors state competitors


D'Niya Little-Segers

Seniors Kelsey Schneck (left) and Mark Park (right) lead Central’s drumline through the hallways during the first “State Walk” on Oct. 19.

C.J. Getting, Staff Writer

Naperville Central is introducing new “state walks” this year, where students who have qualified for state competitions will march through school hallways while being cheered on by their classmates lining the halls. 

The concept was introduced by new Athletic Director Chris Kirkpatrick. He hopes to use it as a send-off for any athletic or academic groups who make it to a state-level competition. This includes all Illinois High School Association (IHSA) sports and activities along with ones that compete within different organizations.  

State qualifiers are led through the hallways by Central’s drumline, who map out the route through the school.

Classes are encouraged to go into the hallways and cheer competitors on when possible.

“I’m hoping everyone comes out and it creates some school spirit,” Kirkpatrick said. “This is an opportunity for us to honor anything going on at State.”

The first of these events was held on Wednesday Oct. 19, celebrating Joey Cerney’s performance in IHSA boys golf, Sofia Olaru’s qualification for IHSA singles girls tennis and the Marching Redhawks’ participation in the ISU Marching Band Championship. Both Cerney and Olaru declined to participate in the event. In total, there were approximately 100 students walking through the hallways during eighth period.

“It’s cool,” said sophomore Zach DeGuzman, a member of the Marching Redhawks. “The whole school is wishing us good luck for our state competition.”

Aside from the students being recognized, those watching the state walk also appreciated the new idea.

“We’re supporting our school and that’s great,” sophomore Charlie Macaluso said, who cheered on their peers.

Both Olaru and the Marching Band will head to their tournaments this weekend, where they will compete for their respective state titles.