With the beginning of every basketball season, every student looks forward to being a part of the greatest student section in Humboldt County. Even the best players from out of the area find it difficult to play at Arcata and win. Our exceptional team is already a tough opponent, with our intense crowd, it’s near-impossible to take the “W” away from us. The secret to the success of the “Jungle” is the Sixth Man. A core group of devoted seniors leads the infamous student section each year. Everyone in the crowd looks to the jumpsuit-clad warriors for inspiration into battle. Strong Sixth Men are the key to a great spirit of the crowd. The idea for sixth man was created by Graham Johnson (the current AHS Varsity Basketball coach) and Virgil Boulder, both from the class of 2000. These two guys and some friends came up with the idea, as a way to show their tiger pride. This is an interview with Graham Johnson , speaking about Sixth Man back then!
Pepperbox: Where did the idea for sixth man come from?
Graham Johnson: It was really just an idea my friends and I had, to show tiger pride and have fun!
PBX: What can you tell us about the start of sixth man?
Graham: It was a crazy time, the sixth man, we had a very passionate crowd at the time, we really pushed the limits.
PBX: Any advice for the current sixth man crew?
Johnson: It’s strength in numbers, the more people you get in your crowd the better
PBX: Did you have problems with the administration?
Johnson: Yes, we had a lot of problems, but lots of the problems were warranted. I remember a time a girl walked into the gym with a McKinleyville sign, and a student grabbed the sign a out of her hands, ripped it into a million pieces…we pushed it to the very limit.
PBX: Are you proud of what sixth man has become?
Johnson: Yes, I am…It is awesome for a small school to have so much enthusiasm about their basketball team… the team feeds off their energy.