MIDDLEVILLE, Mich. (WOOD) — A packed student section at a high school football game can leave behind quite a mess — but not at Thornapple Kellogg High School.
At each varsity game, seniors can be found in the stands, cheering and showing school spirit. After, they stick around to help clean up.
“The least we can do is pick up our own mess that we made,” senior Landon Conroy said.
The seniors bring their own trash bags and conduct their cleanup together at every game, even when they’re not playing at home.
“I remember at our first game against Hastings as we were picking up the trash, I remember a parent kind of looked at me and goes, ‘You’re doing a good thing,'” senior Dylan Bailey recalled. “And I don’t know, that quote kind of just sticks with me every time.”
About five years ago, Assistant Principal Kevin Remenap started bringing trash bags to games when students asked if they could help clean up. Remenap died suddenly in 2021, but the tradition he started lives on.
Principal Tony Petersen said it’s a legacy:
“Every year, I talked to the kids about choosing their legacy,” he said. “What do you want your legacy to be when you leave? You have four years at TK: What does it look like when you’re gone? How are you remembered?”
The students say they home to continue the tradition of school spirit and service going:
“It comes like full circle now that we’re seniors,” student Sahara Coston said. “Now we can just carry this tradition on and pass it on to the juniors, then they’ll pass it on.”