Upholding the Mountie Legacy

Senior traditions passed from class to class


“My SMAT shirt says ‘Macho Camacho.’ It’s a play on my last name because my elementary music teacher would call me that all the time, so it just stuck,” said Daniel Camacho, 12.

Every student that walks into Rogers High School dreams of the day they will get their signature blue and white shirt, making it known that they are officially a Rogers Mountie senior. SMAT, which stands for “Senior Mountie Attack Team,” is printed on the back of these baseball tees, along with a customized quote about each senior. Despite the anticipation and pride that come with wearing a SMAT shirt, few actually know where this tradition originated from. 

 “The legendary SMAT is a long-standing tradition that began in 1976 by students inspired by the popular TV show ‘SWAT,'” according to the 2018 edition of the Mountaineer yearbook. The show centers around the ‘Special Weapons and Tactics’ and their adventures in solving crimes. At the time the show inspired a flood of merchandise, including action figures, lunchboxes, and t-shirts. The Mounties took this idea and put their own twist on it, creating their new acronym.

“This is my sister’s SMAT shirt. It says ‘5 Stahr Rating’; my shirt says ‘Stahr of the show.’ Both are a play on our last name,” said Carly Stahr, 12.

RHS makes it a priority to make seniors feel special, giving them more freedom and recognition, and carrying on time-honored customs that make their last year momentous. 

Many seniors appreciate the high status the SMAT shirt tradition provides and the hierarchy they have over the underclassmen. 

“My favorite thing about wearing my SMAT shirt is that people know who I am and know that I’m a senior,” said Daniel Camacho, 12. 

Being able to wear their SMAT shirt and participating in all the signature senior affairs comes with feelings of satisfaction and dignity.

Traditions, passed down from class to class, can bring camaraderie and unity, enabling students to connect and bond in a way that lasts far beyond their senior year.

“My SMAT shirt says ‘Bo Peep’ because I was Little Bo Peep in first grade in our school’s play and then my nickname has been Ella Bo since 7th grade,” said Ella Bohanan, 12.

“My favorite senior tradition thus far has been senior sunrise,” said Daniel Camacho, 12.  “We went out there and just got to eat donuts and take pictures with everyone on the field. It was a good time.” 

Waking up early the morning before their last “first day” of high school to watch the sunrise brings all seniors together, making the day special from the start. The first day of senior year can be very sentimental, bringing back recollections of past years. When students come to the realization that it’s their last year of school, many have the desire to make as many memories as they can. 

Carly Stahr, 12, said “My favorite thing about being a senior is definitely early release, [it’s the] best thing ever. I can literally leave school at 12:30, go home, nap, and go to work. It’s super chill and a lot less stressful than having to go to school all day.” 

When asked how she felt about being a senior, Ella Bohanan said, “ I think being the oldest comes with a level of authority but also realizing that we only have a year left and so we have to make the most of it; it really is a lot more enjoyable.” 

Grasping the fact that they will never be in high school again is hard for lots of students. Many kids think of school as a constant, somewhere that they go everyday, no matter what. Plans after high school can be scary, but savoring their time left at RHS is important.

“It’s really fun [participating in the traditions], honestly, it makes me feel proud to be here and to have been a student for 4 years.”, Bohanan said. “So now it’s our turn – we’re the seniors now.”