By: Gigi Giuliano
Most students have either heard of the Helmet Mafia, follow them on social media, or have heard rumours about what happens at hockey games, but may not have known what it meant. I myself was unsure of its exact meaning until I interviewed Cole Barron, one of the group’s enthusiastic members. The helmet mafia was at first just a group of students who wore helmets to the hockey games as a way to show school spirit. After the first hockey game against Lincoln High School, Will Foster created an instagram account, turning this trend into something much more, something that Cole referred to as “a schoolwide thing”. Kids started wearing helmets to all of the hockey games, and even some basketball games, something that Cole thought “was great, we hadn’t had that many fans in awhile.”
To the players, the helmet mafia is an invaluable asset that no other team in Rhode Island can claim to have. Having a fan base that large is extremely supportive, the group showing up to both home and away games. Cole described the “Lincoln Funeral” by saying, “You looked up to your right to see everyone, and it just really motivated all the players to new heights. It’s crazy to be apart of it”. As high schoolers, these are the memories most kids only dream of making. A town coming together to support a team seems like something out of a Disney movie, but here at East Greenwich High School, it’s a reality. The helmet mafiahas morphed into a way for many students to show their school pride, which brings us to the thing everyone’s been buzzing about: the gong.
It was originally Will Foster who came up with the idea to buy a gong to bring to games. In Cole’s words, it was all “for the fans … it’s gonna be electric.” The gong is not only an incredible noise maker to get the fans rowdy, but it shows the other teams how much the players, and fans want to win. The only funds for this gong were raised through a go-fund-me created by Will Foster and posted on the EG Helmet Mafia’s Instagram. After only two days, the goal of seven hundred dollars was met, and the gong was ordered.
To stay updated on the Helmet Mafia’s activities, follow @eg_helmetmafia on Instagram.