Spartan Traditions


Aliza Ahmad, Author

High school is more than just a place of education; it’s a community, where we make unforgettable memories and embrace the traditions that make each day interesting. Broad Run High School is one of the oldest schools in the county. Over the years since its doors first opened, students have created many traditions that are still being celebrated today. Here is a guide to some of Broad Run’s most memorable traditions!

#1 – Not Stepping on the Spartan Head

One of the most iconic symbols at Broad Run is the Spartan Head, which has been part of the school since it first opened. The Spartan Head represents our school so stepping on it is disrespectful – and you’ll probably get yelled at by the upperclassmen. “I was a student there the first year Broad Run High School [opened], and not walking on the Spartan Head was already a tradition in the making,” said Broad Run Alumni Roy Hall. “It shows a place of respect and dignity for the school mascot and community. It also brings us all together when we collectively agree on one thing,” said Broad Run Class of 2023 Graduate Maddy Adler. “I was genuinely afraid I would be told by an upperclassman I’d have to clean it with a toothbrush if I stepped on it,” said Broad Run class of 1999 graduate Jessica O’Brien. (O’Brien was also the co-editor for the Spartan in 1998 and 1999.)


#2 – Battle of the Burn

The Battle of the Burn 2021 at Segra Field Photo Credit : Maria Kaffes

Although we no longer play Stone Bridge in football due to changes in divisions, the Battle of the Burn was one of the most hyped high school football games in Loudoun County. It was Broad Run versus our neighbor and long-time rival, Stone Bridge. The game was more than just football; it was about giving back to the community. Each year, both schools would donate money to a non-profit organization. We would make spirit links corresponding with the amount donated to decorate our student section, and whichever school’s spirit link was the longest would win. Broad Run won the Spirit Link competition for about 15 years in a row.

Broad Run was built in 1969, while Stonebridge has been around since 2001. So what was the BOTB equivalent pre-Bulldogs? “During my tenth-grade year, Potomac Falls High in Sterling was built, so it was a big deal to play them,” said O’Brien.

Battle of the Burn is definitely missed by both the Broad Run and Stone Bridge communities. “I think we have a great student section and a very supportive community, and it’s also the best rivalry game around,” said Broad Run class of 2016 graduate Mathew Meier.


#3 – FNL

Broad Run’s Maroon Crew | Photo Credit : Maria Kaffes

Friday Night Football is another fun part of Broad Run, and it comes with many of its own traditions. One of them is not splitting the pole on game day because it brings bad luck to the team. Another is our student section, The Maroon Crew. Class of 2022 Graduate Ariana Nabil said she loves the Maroon Crew “because it’s when we all unite.”






#4 – The Fight Song

Another tradition during football games is our fight song! Here is our fight song:

Cheer, cheer for our Broad Run High

we’re gonna win this game if we try

with our backs and linemen strong

stand up and shout, let’s cheer them on

we never stagger, we never fall

our Broad Run Spartans are best of all

maroon and gold will shine tonight

so stand up for Broad Run High, fight, fight, fight!

“Every time I hear it played, it brings back great memories of Friday night football games,” said Mary Fotchman, Class of 1984 graduate.


#5 – Sport Traditions

We’ve covered football, so now let’s show some love to some other Broad Run sports. “We like to dance pre-game in the locker room all the time,” said class of 2022 graduate Yvonne Lee, who was the varsity girls basketball captain. Pre-game dances seem like a lot of fun! “Each game we anonymously write cards to two of our teammates to encourage them for the upcoming match. Every away game, on the ride on the bus, we bring a speaker and hype ourselves up to Pitbull songs,” said class of 2022 graduate Dory Raterman, who was the varsity field hockey captain.



#6 – Pep Rallies

Since we’re talking sports, what’s the best way to get students hyped up for the games? A pep rally, of course! Pep rallies are one of Mr. Barbour’s favorite Broad Run traditions “because of the school spirit,” he said. Mr. Barbour used to be an assistant principal at Broad Run.


#7 – The PowderPuff & PowderBuff Games


The Powderpuff game is when the girls play flag football and Powder Buff is when the Boys play volleyball. The groups are divided into grade levels and play against each other. It usually happens after a testing day like SOL’s or PSAT day.


#8 – HOCO Week


The next is a pretty common high school experience, Homecoming week! “The freshmen get the little tiny area where the Spartan Head is to decorate, so they’re the only class without a hallway usually. The other three classes get bigger hallways. The seniors get the biggest, the longest, and then they decorate it to the theme. There’s also murals they paint, the murals that pop up every year come from that, and they come from themes,” said Class of 2022 graduate Maria Kaffes. “I love getting to compete for dressing up on the spirit days,” said Junior Ava Gearing.

Broad Run’s been around for a while so what did homecoming week look like 40 years ago? “We had so many fun spirit days that you can’t do anymore; a bonfire, pajama day where guys joked and wore their Mom’s nightgown, nerd day – when we would dress like our rival Park View, the pep rally with the chorus and band doing our fight song. It was so funny!” said class of 1987 graduate Kim Luckabaugh.


#9 – Pink Week

Spirit days are a big part of Homecoming Week, but spirit days, in general, are a blast! “I love all the spirit days and dressing up at football games,” said Class of 2023 graduate Gabby Sultan. Another big spirit week is Pink Week. Junior Leah Watson said, “I really like pink out and how the whole school is just covered in pink,” We have a pink-themed football game each year during October and raise money for Breast Cancer awareness!

#10 – Senior Pranks

The next tradition is Senior prank. “We always made sure it was safe and fun,” said Class of 1984 graduate Kathy Hatch. Here are some examples. “Clocks were put in all the senior lockers set to go off at the same time,” said Carrie Franklin. The next is my personal favorite. “The school was put up for sale,” said Michelle Greene de Hoyos. In 1984, there was a “Funeral for our principal. We put black balloons inside a casket we made. We locked all the doors from the outside with chains and locks, so we couldn’t get in the school in the morning,” said Hatch. “I so remember the funeral in the senior court and hanging underwear. The class of 84 was the best,” said Nadine Price. “I remember Margaret Jackson giving the eulogy and the black balloons coming out of the coffin,” said Mary Fotchman. “Such great memories! We made sure it was for fun and never destroyed school property,” Hatch added. The next example is a gross one: the class of 1995 senior prank. “There were greased pigs let loose in the main hallway, which ended up going into the cafeteria,” said Richard Van Ness. Senior Pranks are no longer a thing at Broad Run. Don’t get any ideas!

We hope you enjoyed learning about the rich history and traditions here at Broad Run. A special thanks to all the students and alumni who helped contribute to the making of this article.

Photo Credit : Maria Kaffes