It’s no secret that students across these fruited plains have had a challenging time of it the past two years. And, you know what? Let’s forget about that. Students here, in our little corner of the world, have had a challenging time of it the past two years. That’s what should concern us the most, right?

With an eye on getting the students to get re-acquainted with each other in a safe setting, Indian River High School Athletic Director Todd Fuhrmann has created “Stand Up and Cheer” — a program designed to get students out in a controlled atmosphere, socializing with one another and offering support to their fellow students.

“Honestly, it was a very warm feeling because you’re screaming for students who you go to school with,” observed Olivia Sananikone, an IR student who enjoyed the student section at a recent football game. “These are your friends, and when they’re in their element of playing sports ... we’re all brought together as one. Everyone has their different cliques in school, but that doesn’t show here because everyone is cheering together for one specific thing that they love.”

This is a great effort at IR, and the students have also been united with themes, such as the Oct. 1 game highlighting Mental Health Awareness, where the students wore matching purple for the game.

This is one plan we hope continues, and grows to other activities for students, as well.