Top Ten York Cults


Graphic by Hannah Brody

From cross country to student council and everything in between, the top ten York Cults are highlighted in this graphic.

Murphy McFarlane, Multimedia Editor

There are many groups around York that are known to exhibit questionably spirited behavior. This lifestyle is seen so much so that the term “York Cult” has formally been defined below. In late October, nearly 400 students were surveyed to choose their top five picks out of 19 carefully selected groups, determining the top ten York Cults. It should be noted that some rankings were very close– only separated by a few votes– and, if surveyed at a different time of year, may be different.


York Cult 

/yawrk kəlt/


A group of students at York who demonstrate extreme allegiance for a uniform cause or interest. Expressing total devotion, members of a York Cult can typically be found wearing cult apparel or posting about it to their social media. The group will often carry out strict routines, rituals, or traditions like meeting once a day or constantly talking about their cause. Chances are if you know a member of a York Cult, they’ll make sure you never forget it.


1.Boys Cross Country (208 votes)

With a membership of over 180 runners, Boys Cross Country suits up in formal attire for the school day whenever their massive team has a meet, bringing a dominating presence around the halls. These dedicated measures extend even further to the top one and two groups who not only practice 18 hours a week but even eat breakfast and lunch together every day too. Their following encompasses the entirety of York Cross Country– and then some. Supporting the top seven runners every step of their three mile run, cross country fans rally with megaphones, posters, flags and more as they hope to cheer the Dukes onto their next state title. Boys Cross Country has long withstanding traditions that run decades deep. After placing as one of the top three teams at the state meet, our dukes will always dress to impress in white tuxedos at the award ceremony. 

  1. Marching Band (191 votes)

Marching band appears as one of the most indisputable York Cults on the list. Congregating in the seasonally decorated band locker room, these students consider (insert room number here) their home away from home. They eat, play and swarm the practice rooms daily, storing all of their belongings in the exclusive music getaway. When weather permits, marching band students head to the stadium for fourth and most of fifth period, scolding anyone who dares to cross Saint Charles without the walk sign. Each day, they practice their impressive halftime performance, extensively rehearsing song after song, although they aren’t shy to collectively whine “water” at the directors until they’re granted a break. Come heat or cold, their devotion to wearing such a heavy green and white uniform complete with a feathered hat during game day is applauded. If you stick around long enough, you’ll be sure to hear the band play Big Noise from Winnetka at the end of each sporting event.

  1. Drama (166 votes)

York Drama has a special dedication that many outsiders observe in disbelief– what other group at York can be around one another every single day for the entire school year? If you walk into the choir room, chances are they’ll be there– before school, after school, during lunch, even during class. I wouldn’t be surprised if they slept in there. They have everything they need– from a Keurig, to a microwave, to even their own Cafe coined “Julia’s Coffee,” it’s no wonder they store all of their belongings in A151. However, during the week of a show is when they exhibit their peak York Cult behavior. For tech week, drama kids eat, sleep and breathe drama. They spend every waking moment thinking solely about the show and are only allowed to yell, sing or deliver a heartfelt speech about empathy. For good luck, the boys have a special ritual where they lock themselves in a candlelit room chanting Latin at an old wig. If you happened to miss drama’s endless promotions in the announcements and around social media, don’t worry: their masses will wear a new shirt for each day they have a performance, just to remind you to buy tickets to their already sold-out show. 


  1. That group of kids who goes to every football game and stays from start to finish (158 votes)

While this following of students may not be considered a formal organization, their undeniable presence is enough to land them the number four ranking on the York Cult list, and notably, above the actual football team. These students will come to each and every football game decked out in the theme of the week. No matter the distance, no matter the weather, no matter the score, these students will stay through thick and thin to support York Dukes Football– many just don’t understand. So much that an anonymous student on the survey said “Okay but if you go to a football game and stay start to finish, you’re a psycho. I’m sorry but it’s true.”  After the last home game of the season, long after the stadium lights have been shut off, these students can most likely be found sitting in the pitch-black bleachers, sobbing. 


  1. Football (154 votes)

Football’s allegiance to effort and intensity is well known around the halls of York. The team wears their jerseys every Friday to remind students to rally in the stands for Friday Night Lights. They strictly enforce a relentless effort to “pound the stone,” a motto upheld from the school to the stadium. At home games, they bring an actual sledgehammer to solidify their devotion. To take it a step further, the team even went on a three-day retreat over the summer. Without access to technology, the boys solely ate, slept and practiced football. During the season, the team can rarely take a break. Practicing three hours a day with a game each weekend– the little free time they have is mostly spent with each other at their weekend hangouts.   

  1. Student Media (125 votes)

Students a part of York-Hi and YTV function differently from most other classes at York. They’re not a part of a class, they’re a part of a staff, and reporting on the daily occurrences around the school is their job. When they’re not at work, they’re pestering you to answer questions for their article or video. With strict deadlines, these student journalists will either be furiously typing away at their designated computer spaces in the journalism lab, editing a video on Adobe Premiere in the YTV lab, or maybe even touring the White House on a field trip. Whatever it is, York will surely know. These students don’t just post on social media. They are the media.

  1. Iverson’s Army (105 votes)

This year, volleyball coach and social studies teacher Patty Iverson’s devotion to helping the environment extends across the school. Students who join forces for Iverson’s causes have subsequently joined the movement to go green. In her classroom, there is a board dedicated to articles to ensure students are not only well versed in U.S. history but our Earth’s environmental issues of well. APUSH students contribute their “green ideas” to the Green Idea Wall weekly to further their efforts. Don’t even think about bringing plastic into her classroom, you will be completely ridiculed. Furthermore, on the court, the volleyball team sells plastic-free snacks in order to purchase more trees to combat deforestation. Before the game, players energetically dash to the stands to hand out their iconic “YDVB Go Green” water bottles. Leading an entire climate strike at Elmhurst Presbyterian Church in late September,  Iverson’s Army shows a noble strive to better the environment from the classroom to the court to the community.

  1. Student Council (102 votes)

Dedicating half of their precious lunch period four days a week, this group of students pledges their allegiance to boost Duke spirit around York. Organizing events from Homecoming to Mr. Duke and everything in between, StuCo plasters their name around the hallways and throughout the announcements. Annually, they hold a formal meeting to make amendments to their constitution (yes, they actually have a constitution) and even create giant, specially crafted Honor Council Book to record all of their accomplishments each year. I’m not kidding, they enter it in a contest every year at the Student Council State Convention.

  1. Poms (99 votes)

Every Friday during football season, the girls involved in poms can be found uniformly wearing their carefully selected outfit around the halls of York. Before the game, they run a high energy Zumba class to carry their ungodly spirit on the sidelines– decked out in the game theme of the week of course. Green sherpas and bright red lipstick is a necessary staple of York Poms. During competition season is when the team reaches the utmost intensity. Practicing every day for hours and hours on end, they solely take a break when their performance is absolutely perfect. It is only then when they have their outrageously spirited team potluck. There, they only wear green. From tutus to mittens to face paint, their school pride is mind-boggling.


  1. York Hockey (97 votes) 

York Hockey players have a very distinct culture by which they live strictly. With one of the longest season of any sport club at York, they surely maintain their flow– many players having the exact same haircut. The closet of a York Hockey player consists only of York Hockey spirit wear. They have a jacket in every color to combat the cold temperatures of the
|Addison Ice Arena commonly referred to as Addison Square Garden. When most everyone else is in bed, players can be found at the rink late into the hours of the night working hard for their weekly Friday Night Ice. After every game, they award “the belt”– a carefully engraved, customized wrestling belt– to the number one star of the game (talk about ice).


Honorable Mentions:

  • Swim
  • TSI
  • Italian Club
  • Emoms
  • The Lampa Family
  • Jeep Wrangler Drivers
  • The kids that say “what up what up” like Mr. Dowdy
  • Murphy 
  • Drumline
  • Kids that do Top Driver
  • Cult of Jimburgia
  • AP Bio Students
  • LaBrigade
  • Cheer
  • YSS