We Are Sparta, Who are they?


Photo by Guor Chuol

We Are Sparta members pose after January 11th meeting at East High School.

East has several clubs and activities for students but one that many students have not been informed on is ‘We are Sparta.’ This group was originally created for student athletes with the goals of bettering individual teams and the overall athletic program. It was founded by the current athletic director Zach Limbach in 2013.

The mission statement of this group is “We are Sparta is a high school group consisting of student leaders. We strive for the betterment of East High by focusing on a fun, unified, and positive environment. We view student leadership as a means to gain respect and inspire our peers and teammates.” When founded, Limbach envisioned the group being student led by its members and the mission statement was the first step as it was created by the student athletes.

In its first year there were only eight members, however as years have gone by (prior to COVID) there were nearly 40 members in attendance. There were multiple committees to recognize East excellence and Limbach hopes to have the current group return to similar means in the near future.

“I think there should always be some kind of lesson or something that kind of evokes some thinking on those athletes,” Limbach said. “By learning from each other, I think that’s how we’re starting to grow and do a better job of leadership.”

This is typically how meetings are conducted. The athletes meet every other Tuesday after school for about an hour during PLC. During this time, Limbach gives a leadership lesson and then allows the athletes to chime in and add their thoughts.

“…Hopefully they can use the wisdom they gain in their individual sports and share it with others,” Limbach said.

The athletes share team goals, ideas to improve team morale, and overall program success. In addition to bi-weekly meetings, We are Sparta has helped out with other events such as 8th grade night and the 1974 East Women’s Basketball First State Championship Hall of Fame induction ceremony. This group is growing once again, roughly with 12 people consistently every meeting.

“I feel like it is making a difference beyond athletics,” senior Campbell Petrick.”It’s really trying to involve the whole school and get people involved in the school.” Petrick agrees that she has learned “leadership skills” as well “ways to make all people feel included.” She has been a member of the group for nearly 2 years.

“It’s really easy to feel like you’re a leader,” Petrick said. “But I feel like really understanding what it means to be a leader and how you can make positive change in whatever group you’re involved with [matters].”

Building and assisting leaders is exactly what We Are Sparta is aspiring to do. It’s one thing to assume a leadership position but it’s another thing to make a difference with it. We are Sparta is jumpstarting the process and making our East community stronger with every stride.