A Tradition Begins

Seniors Jack Mahoney and Tommy Sulentic lead drum chant to increase spirit


Keely Woods

Seniors Jack Mahoney and Tommy Sulentic perform the Drum Chant an the Homecoming Assembly on Sept. 14

A shadowy figure stands in the center of the dark gymnasium. A single, white spotlight illuminates senior Jack Mahoney with a large bass drum mallet. The spotlight widens to show senior Tommy Sulentic holding a shiny red drum. 1800 people await hands raised.



Claire Meyers
Senior Jack Mahoney reacts to the crowd’s clap at the first assembly of the year on Aug. 18.
Natalie Canon
Adapting a native Icelandic chant to Jaguar spirit, seniors Jack Mahoney and Tommy Sulentic perform the chant at the first school assembly on Aug. 18.


A small smile graces Mahoney’s face. A new tradition is born.

He pounds the drum again, the smile grows along with the noise. He hits the drum faster and louder as the crowd reacts and reaches a fever pitch. He lets out a “whoop” as the crowd roars around him. Few can imagine the feeling of creating something that, if only for a minute, makes 1800 individuals, one.  The new tradition came to fruition from the need to be remembered. 

The Drum Chant was introduced before the first football game.

“We just wanted another chant that would set us apart from other schools,” said Sulentic.

Although, the “I Believe” chant was a staple at BV West sporting events, it was copied by most of the other Blue Valley schools and other East Kansas League competitors.

“I remember Jack and Tommy running into my room with huge smiles on your faces, you showed me a video of a bunch of people in Iceland doing a war chant saying it would be perfect for football games,” teacher Dr. Laura Restivo said.

The week before the first game the pair got permission to do the chant. They held three meetings with assistant principal Bryan Brutto. They needed to confirm that they would be able to bring the drum into the stadium, as well as, the guidelines and expectations for the game. 

“I couldn’t imagine a better first attempt,” Mahoney said. “The whole crowd did it perfectly as the football players ran onto the field.”

When asked how he felt the first time the two did the new chant, all Sulentic said was, “Magic.” Mahoney nodded.

The drum chant has grown and stabilized into a tradition at assemblies and games that the duo hope will continue for years after they’re gone.