Mojo in the making

The Igloo lunch boxes, the Sperry’s, the khaki shorts, and the Ralph Lauren Polos are all things that have been associated with today’s Jesuit High School. But many have pondered the following question: what makes Jesuit so legendary? Some would argue it’s the banners hanging in the gym, and others would say it’s the beauty of our campus. But there is one thing that any and all Alumni could agree on, one thing that compiles all of the amazing aspects at Jesuit: epic school spirit.

Dubbed “Mojo”, Jesuit’s school spirit is known throughout Sacramento, but the origin of the Mojo may be lost amidst the blur of dozens of holy bowls.

One person who may know the origin story better than any is Mr. Michael Barnes ’81. Mr. Barnes was not only a head cheerleader during the prime Big Red movement, but he has witnessed almost 40 years of change in Jesuit spirit, school life, and athletics.

Big Red Pride [Mojo] is the power of the school, a force that controls the people in the school,” said Mr. Barnes. “It’s not being able to speak on Saturday morning after going crazy in the cheering section Friday night. It’s arriving at Jesuit at 8:00 a.m., leaving at 7:30 p.m. and feeling that Jesuit isn’t just a school, but a way of life. Together we win or lose, but no matter what, we are united as brothers.”

In Mr. Barnes’ view, Jesuit has always been more than a high school. The Mojo wasn’t just in the people; it was part of the school itself.

There is no better feeling than screaming your lungs out so that your friends find their Mojo,” said Mr. Barnes. “There was no way another cheer squad could come into our house and out-yell us.”

After taking over as Student Activities Director, Assistant Dean Tim Kelly has seen major changes in spirit. Dean Kelly is excited about the future of Jesuit Spirit, and hopes the students will remain engaged in all events that call for Mojo.

“I think the Jesuit school spirit is what separates us from other high schools,” said Kelly. “Our students take pride in our school and I hope they continue to do that in the future.”

Year after year, the distractions that come with being a high schooler grow, and we try to balance too many things at once, sometimes forgetting about certain things.

“I don’t believe school spirit is dead;I believe that it has to compete with so many things today that it is stretched very thin,” said Mr. Barnes. “I would dearly love to see the resurgence of Big Red Pride. All the elements are still here – what we need to do is embrace them, celebrate our  Mojo and our Brotherhood.”

Though spread thin, Mr. Barnes is right, all the elements of the famed “Mojo” still exist at Jesuit, and when we concentrate our efforts, the Big Red Pride thrives at 1200 Jacob Lane.