Ryan Grooms and Matt Haden celebrating Haden's victory at Lumberjack Friday. Photo courtesy of FCHS Journalism

Jules Shepherd

Pancakes and Plaid

February 6, 2019

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What could possibly get sleep-deprived students to leave their warm beds before dawn to travel to iHop on a cold February morning? The annual Lumberjack Friday tradition at FCHS.

Started in 2010 by a few FCHS seniors, this now-annual student tradition (not a school-sanctioned event) is held every year on the first Friday of February. Students of all grades are encouraged to dress up for the day as lumberjacks (in plaid shirts, jeans or khakis, boots, and even suspenders and beards). Those who are really into the event make their way to iHop at Zions Crossroads early in the morning to eat breakfast and watch the annual syrup-chugging contest.

Fluco tradition dictates that several juniors volunteer to chug a bottle of syrup, and whoever finishes first earns the title of “Head Lumberjack” for the next year. When this year’s event took place on Feb. 1, there were two firsts: the first female participant (junior Kyia Scott) and the most participants (eight this year–twice the usual number of participants). The title of Head Lumberjack was won by junior Matt Haden, who competed against Scott, Ethan Hartung, Bryce Cognetti, Trey Lyons, Leukas Koczan, and Nathan Mentor for the privilege of carving one’s name into an axe.

While the desire to drink an entire bottle of syrup may seem perplexing, Lyons said he sees it as a tradition he wanted to be a part of. “It’s also more special to us because it’s student-led and doesn’t have anything to do with the school,” he said, addition that he is looking forward to participating in next year’s festivities as a senior.

Scott was pleased to be the first girl to break the glass-bottle ceiling” and become the first “Lumberjill.” “It was great to be the first girl and break a record, and I encourage other girls to do it in the future. Just because it’s always been a bunch of guys doesn’t mean anything,” she said.

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