ASH boys “never” die

Former+ASH+members+Jason+Murphy%2C+Noah+Albanese%2C+Conor+Saarinen%2C+Matthew+McCallum%2C+and+Kaden+Mullins+posing+at+the+football+game+on+Sept.+3%2C+2021+at+Juanita+High+School.+

Tammi

Former ASH members Jason Murphy, Noah Albanese, Conor Saarinen, Matthew McCallum, and Kaden Mullins posing at the football game on Sept. 3, 2021 at Juanita High School.

Jackie Su and Aldo Giannini

An ever-present sight at football games over the last few years has been a group of senior boys known as ASH, which stands for Assembled Student Hype. They initiated chants,  led the student section and cheered for the football team, making sure that Inglemoor had the loudest and most spirited fans.

Their catchphrase “ASH boys never die,” shortened to “ABND,” became a trademark saying for the group that represented how they would last forever.

Recently, their school pride turned into reckless and intense behavior. Consequently, they have been banned by the administration.

On Oct. 6, a group of Inglemoor students (including 2 members of ASH) snuck into Bothell High School and stole the head of their cougar mascot and the Bothell flag. 

“I wouldn’t consider it breaking in. I would consider it to be, you know, taking advantage of a few resources to be let into a place,” said senior Mason Stocker, a football player involved in the incident. 

Stocker said that the group found an unlocked door and walked in the school. They looked around but had no idea where anything was.

“That place is super weird on the inside. It is a maze, and I hate it. We almost got caught a couple times, but the janitors apparently never saw us,” Stocker said. “We literally hid on top of the bleachers at one point.”

Stocker said they showed the custodian a doctored piece of text message information that said they had permission to enter the premises and borrow the Bothell flag.

“He takes us to the ASB room and unlocks it. We just grabbed the flag and cougar head, which was sitting conveniently placed right next to the door, and walked out,” Stocker said.

Stocker described the events as a bonding experience and that everyone “felt on top of the world” after they successfully took the items.

“And that’s when one… [ASH] member made the fatal mistake of posting me holding the Bothell cougar and flag on his Snapchat story, which then got immediately screenshotted and sent to all of Bothell,” Stocker said. “Needless to say, they weren’t very happy about it, even though most people thought it was funny. I think the only people that didn’t, were some people that are total f—— a——-.”

Former ASH member and senior Conor Saarinen said that the group’s actions were a result of a false rumor that they heard.

“We heard a rumor that we thought was true from multiple people: that we had a Viking ship in our courtyard before we got here… [and it was] destroyed by Bothell students. So we felt it was a rivalry-like thing, but it turned into a lot more,” Saarinen said.

Stocker said in the aftermath of the incident, he agreed to take all the blame for the group’s actions. 

“I knew I wouldn’t have very big repercussions because this kind of thing was kind of expected of me. But in the end, everyone got sold out by other people that knew about what happened,” Stocker said. “It wasn’t [ASH’s] fault. Technically, it was their idea, but then again, they didn’t technically do anything in the act of borrowing.”

Oct. 7 went by smoothly, which made the boys believe that they had avoided repercussions. That was not the case. 

Rather, Stocker said that the administration was unsure how to go about the boys’ punishment since it did not happen on school grounds nor was it during school hours. 

Vice Principal Shawn Rainwater said that the situation was complicated. He declined to confirm details of their punishments due to a code that prohibits administrators from disclosing any information that involves discipline.

Stocker said that he received one day of in school-suspension and had to write a letter to the Bothell administration. Stocker said that the Bothell administration was upset and was threatening to press charges.  

The administration has banned ASH and any association to the group. They initially prohibited students from wearing excessive amounts of t-shirt shreds to events, but this regulation has since been dropped. 

Football players involved in the incident were not allowed to play in the game against Bothell or enter the stadium. The boys involved are not allowed to enter Bothell High School for a year.

When contacted for an interview, Principal Adam Desautels wrote via email “ASH is not a student group or in any way associated with Inglemoor High School. We may have some students that may believe they can represent that group at IHS events, but that is not the case. So, I won’t have any comments on them whatsoever.”

Stocker said that the incident gave the administration the opportunity to finally disassemble ASH.

“It’s still kinda stupid because we gave it all back. 99% of everyone thought it was funny and still think it’s funny. Even the admins who actually dished out the punishments thought it was really funny,” Stocker said.

Rainwater declined to confirm whether Stocker’s statement was true or not.

“If anything, it was more of a challenge to keep ASH around because there was still pressure from sources outside of the school to not have anything… like the Naked Viks, because that ended in such a bad way,” Rainwater said.

Naked Viks, a previous school spirit group, was banned in 2013 following reports of violent hazing, a part of the group’s initiation process.

“The difficult thing with Naked Viks is that it went on for so many years. It was very different. Lumping it [ASH] in with all Naked Viks, that’s pretty tough to do,” said Rainwater. “It’s going to be a long time before we’re completely out of the shadow of how the Naked Viks ended.”

Rainwater said that there are similarities in the things they participated in, like helping lead crowds at football and basketball games, but that the actions of the group in and outside of school vary with who the members are. 

“That’s something when you’re part of a group. There’s certain benefits you get and certain costs,” Rainwater said. “If somebody makes a mistake in that group, you can pay for it for a long time.”

Stocker said he believes other schools have probably done something like this before, but nowadays, people become easily offended.

Rainwater said that in this day and age, information can be spread quickly.

“Things can become much bigger, much faster. I think sometimes, things have the potential to become a bigger deal than what they were,” Rainwater said.