TMSG: Charlotte High “Flight Club” takes wing

CHARLOTTE, Mich (WLNS) – You’ve heard the old saying “birds of a feather flock together”.

“It’s fun, it’s hype, people have a good time,” explains Clayton Jones, member of the Flight Club.

That’s not necessarily the case here at Charlotte High School.

What does it take to be a member of the Flight Club? I’m assuming you need some energy.

Clayton says, “If you’re a student, we’ll take ya.”

“We’re all one and I think that’s what’s really important, you know, inclusive of all classes and being one student body, said Lamont Aldridge, member of the Flight Club. “The energy is just awesome, I love it.”

Not only does the Oriole student section, better known as the “Flight Club”, welcome every student, it also cheers for every sport.

“We have a hashtag– all sports matter,” Lamont explains.

“A lot of places don’t know what to do when uh, a bus load of kids shows up at a golf match or at a bowling match,” says Bill Barnes, Principal of Charlotte High School. “How do you cheer at a golf outing? Very quietly, very quietly. (laughs)”

Lamont adds, “going to a swim meet and people are like, I’m not used to having someone cheering me on.”

So it’s no wonder the “Flight Team’s” reputation has really taken off.

This year they made it to the semi-finals for the Michigan High School Association’s “Battle of the Fans” competition.

And the past two years they’ve placed in the top five.

How proud is principal Bill Barnse? “Oh, amazing. It’s, it’s just such a great thing for the school and for the community and for the students. It really has made a difference in our school in terms of that feeling of belonging and really about being something bigger than yourselves.”

They even took this reporter “under their wing” and showed me a thing or two.

“The state recognizes, the state, mhsa and just schools around the state, when students really care about their town, about their high school,” says Tyler Bartolacci, Staff Adviser to the Flight Club. “You can see it in their videos, you can see if just standing here behind me.”

“I just like being a positive influence,” adds Lamont. “And just people able to know that this has a greater impact then just cheering.”

A message this flock hopes goes skyward and spreads

Charlotte’s “Flight Club” has been the only school in mid-Michigan to make it, either the finals or the semi-finals, of the “Battle of the Fans” competition for the past three years.

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