TOTM Tuscola pizza

Students at Tuscola's East Prairie Elementary School chow down on Joe's Pizza, their reward for being selected as 'most enthusiastic fans.'

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There’s incentive to cheer like crazy at middle school games in Tuscola.


The clever, tasty idea has fifth- through eighth-graders acting like the Orange Krush during Hornets home basketball games.

Cheerleaders keep an eye on the student section — The Swarm — and, according to boys’ coach Dustin Dees, “pick the students that were dressed in all black that were the loudest, most fun and enthusiastic.”

Dees then treats those singled out to carry-out Joe’s Pizza in the cafeteria (above).

How’d it get started?

“We wanted to see more kids out to our basketball games,” Dees said. “We have kids at games, but they’re not really sure sometimes how to cheer and how to be a good student section (we live in a phone era) so I thought if I made it a competition on who could be the most enthusiastic, maybe we would accomplish a louder and more full student section.”

The Swarm has been buzzing ever since.

“It was a hit,” Dees said. “Tuscola has a rich tradition at the high school level of having a strong student section. I hope that we can start to see that at the middle school level as well.

“It’s fun for the kids involved in the student section and it also makes the players feel good to see their fellow classmates cheering them on.”