Is it any wonder that the area's top two boys basketball teams -- Munster and Bishop Noll -- also have arguably the two best student cheering sections, too?
On Saturday, when Class 4A No. 1 Munster (25-0) and Class 2A No. 2 Noll (25-0) take the court in their respective semistates, the rest of Indiana likely will have a curious opinion of our teenagers.
"Man, our cheering section is crazy," Noll senior Adonis Filer said. "The way they dress, it's ridiculous."
The Warriors will play Tipton at noon Saturday at the Huntington North Semistate, while Munster will take on Kokomo at 5:45 at the Lafayette Jeff Semistate.
In Huntington, members of Noll's "The 6th Man" cheer section will come dressed as ketchup and mustard bottles, Jesus and a bear. At Lafayette, you might see a gorilla chasing a banana around the gym. Or maybe "Speedo Man" will show up.
"Our spring break starts (Friday), and we have a ton of kids changing their travel plans," Munster coach Mike Hackett said. "They're leaving a day later so they can go to the semistate and they're coming back a day early if we make it to Conseco (Fieldhouse).
"These students are hilarious. They give the guys a big lift being there."
"Mustang Nation," as Munster's cheer block calls itself, has heard that Noll has a loud and crazy group, too. But on Wednesday inside their field house, the Munster High School students were sure who was the best.
"We are absolutely the best; our student section is powerful," Munster senior Danielle Jones said. "At one game we all dressed up in 1980s workout suits.
"We love our Mustangs, and they're going to state."
Classmate Shakyla Askew said when she was a freshman the seniors told her she and her friends had to keep the tradition going. Like at Bishop Noll Institute there is a family bond between the players and the students in goofy attire.
"The boys on our team are such good friends of everyone that it's easy coming to the games," Askew said. "We love them."
Noll's Ronnye Beamon said running on the floor at North Judson on Saturday for the regional and seeing the madness in the bleachers gave the team a sense of comfort.
He is expecting the same thing at Huntington.
"It reminds you of home," Beamon said. "I saw them and I thought I was back in Hammond. They're crazy and fun, and they're ours. Comfort is a big part of the game."