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Clubs court high school students
Blitz a big draw at South
Blitz WEB 1
Aikido coach Robert Slaughter tosses Matthew Thompson for a loop as Alex Cooke watches during South Forsyth High's Club Blitz, where students get a chance to look at various extracurricular groups. - photo by Jim Dean

It was an all-out blitz Wednesday at South Forsyth High School.

The parking lot was filled with candy, tables and flyers. There were demonstrations and hundreds of students.

Grade by grade, students were dismissed from class for about 15 minutes for the school’s second annual Club Blitz.

Each of the school’s more than 80 clubs had an information booth to draw potential members. The groups covered everything from athletics to yearbook.

Assistant principal Jeff Cheney, who organized the event, said having the blitz during school hours helped expose students to every club.

“It’s a real quick, mass exposure to the students and allows them the opportunity to seek out a specific thing they’re interested in,” he said.

“[It] also gives them an opportunity to interact with some of the students and to have discussions about something different that might peak their curiosity.”

Cheney said more than 75 percent of South’s students are involved with at least one extracurricular activity. 

While activities such as band, cheerleading and student council are a great way to stay involved, they’re also a boost to performance, Cheney said.

“If the kids are connected to the school in a positive way, they usually perform better in school and are more likely to graduate and go to college,” he said.

“So our goal is to get everyone, freshmen in particular … connected to something positive here at the school.”

Science teacher Melissa Smith, who organizes the mock trial club, said the blitz has helped recruitment efforts. Wednesday, about 60 students signed up to learn more.

“It was a great year for us recruiting wise,” Smith said. “We needed 14 to make a team. So to have 60 who have at least expressed an interest in the club, hopefully we’ll pull a fantastic team from that.”

Other club offerings ranged from anime and chess to debate and equestrian. South’s athletic teams were also represented at the event.

“We have a tremendously diverse offering,” Cheney said. “The club blitz the last two years has allowed some of our smaller clubs and organizations to get off the ground running … I don’t think we’d have the same participation without the blitz.”