Spirit Truck Girls? Students Discuss the Lack of Gender Diversity in an NLR Tradition


The Spirit Truck Boys have been a NLR tradition for several years, helping to bring the Wildcat pride to athletic events. (Picture from North Little Rock High School Facebook page)

Amelia Gassman and Mahagani Burley

The North Little Rock High School Spirit Truck Boys have been an ongoing tradition since 2004. Four boys are represented as spirit leaders, and they drive a royal blue “spirit truck” adorned with the Wildcat symbol on the hood and the words ‘Charging Wildcats’ painted on the side to all sports events. The Boys’ responsibilities include cheering on the Charging Wildcats from the sidelines at every game and getting our student section pumped. 

How does someone become a Spirit Truck Boy? In 2018, former Spirit Truck Boy John Henry Maloch interviewed with local news station THV11 to discuss how the boys were chosen. “To be picked you just have to be loud and show spirit at all the games and show up to as many as you can.” Though participating in this tradition is a great honor, unfortunately some believe that too many students will never get the chance to be a part of this due to a selection process which is allegedly too exclusionary. 

The Spirit Truck Boys are a treasured tradition at NLRHS.

Current Spirit Truck Boy Kai Davis always wanted to be a Spirit Truck Boy. “Means a lot especially knowing I’ve wanted this since I was a little kid and being able to lead the student section and show my school spirit as much as I can,” says Davis.

He also describes how Spirit Truck Boys are chosen. Traditionally, graduating Spirit Truck Boys handpick the new group from the class of rising seniors. Typically in any given year, there are only four Spirit Truck Boys. However this year, adjustments were made to accommodate five boys in a friend group of seven.  “There was a disagreement between the five of us because there’s usually like six or seven in our friend group and it tore something between us but we got used to it.” 

The Spirit Truck Boys have been a NLR tradition for several years, helping to bring the Wildcat pride to athletic events. Normally there are only 4 boys, but this year’s group is made of 5. The 2022 Spirit Truck Boys are pictured standing in front of the famous truck. From left to right: Kai Davis, Trevor Flake, Reed Miller, Pierce Britton, and Jordan Kelly. (Picture from North Little Rock High School Facebook page)

When choosing members for a student organization such as Student Council, a voting process that includes the entire student body is conducted to make selections fair. NLRHS Peer Leadership Advisor Christy Klucher feels like there should also be a similar process while choosing who represents our school as a Spirit Truck Boy. “There needs to be an election, it needs more of an obligation to make sure all grades feel that they are a part of the experience.” 

Even Davis agrees that giving the student body the opportunity to vote on who drives the Spirit Truck would be a good idea.  “It should be voted on by who shows the most school spirit, not just being handed down,” says Davis.

Also, many people feel that it’s more fair if everyone had a chance to represent the school–and that it shouldn’t be restricted to just the guys. Davis believes that it would make sense to have a Spirit Truck Girl, because female students also show great school spirit. “I feel like a bunch of the girls played a big role in [hyping up] the student section, they helped just as much as the rest of us did,” says Davis.

While the boys bring the spirit to all the games, some wonder if girls should also be given the chance to sit in the driver’s seat of the Spirit Truck.

Last year, as the 2021 Spirit Truck boys were passing the mantle to this year’s group, former member, Logan Weaver, suggested that a female student be put on the committee. However, there was a disagreement on whether there should be a girl on the truck. According to previous Spirit Truck Boys, 2022 senior Dalaiah Johnson’s name came up as a possible candidate, but it never came to be. 

Johnson believes that our Spirit Truck could benefit from more diversity. She says, “As far as our class, I personally don’t think it should’ve been all males because not all of them have participated as far as the student section, themes for homecoming week, other games….With our year specifically we should’ve changed this tradition a while ago. There are even some females who participate more than the males.” 

Will there ever be a Spirit Truck Girl? Though one can’t say for sure, some think that in order for more diversity to happen, the selection process should change.

 “The student body as a whole should have a say so and if it is passed down that way it shouldn’t be as biased as it is. If it were decided by the class it would be a way for all students to feel a part of it,” says Johnson.