Duluth Denfeld Super Fan gets a super ride
After the all-school assembly, during which Mark Foldesi was knighted as one of three Super Fans for the 2014-15 school year, the junior got a bonus trophy:
A 2002 four-door Chevy Cavalier painted half-maroon, half-gold and decorated with Denfeld High School-themed emblems.
There is the likeness of the clock tower on the hood.
It says Hunters along the driver’s side doors.
There is a large D on the roof.
And this car — alternately referred to as the Denfeld Car, Super Cav or the Cavillac — is all his for the school year. The Super Fan title is a school-sanctioned distinction passed from out-going Super Fans to a trio of super-spirited incoming seniors; the passing of the Super Cav is an off-campus transaction between the families of Denfeld students.
Foldesi already drove it in the Spirit Valley Days Parade, and he has driven it to crosstown rival territory to pick up his younger brothers from soccer practice. He plans to drive it to football games at opposing fields and maybe around the track during this year’s Homecoming festivities.
“Everyone knows who you are, and you get a lot of looks,” said Foldesi, 18.
And at the end of the year — if the car is still running — he will hand off the keys to one of the Class of 2016 Super Fans.
“It’s a masterpiece”
Super Cav is a relatively new tradition started by former Super Fan Megan Lazarro, who unveiled her car’s school-spirit makeover this past fall.
At first she thought she would just paint it in the school colors to match her new Super Fan title. But her mom, Sue Coen, a State Farm Insurance agent, found West Duluth businessmen-slash-Denfeld alum who were interested in contributing to the maroon and gold cause.
Dave Cox of Quality Collision provided the paint job.
Bruce Anderson of Anderson Signs went in to pay for his insurance and ended up donating all the lettering on the car, including the clock tower and logos — an artistic process he described as “putting earrings on a pig.”
“It looks fancy now,” he said. “(It’s a) masterpiece.”
Throughout the 2013-14 school year, the car became a sort of mascot. It appears in the all-school lip dub to “Good Time” by Owl City & Carly Rae Jepsen. It had a rock star-caliber parking space in front of the school.
It became a statement piece at opposing fields.
“Even just going to away football games was the most fun,” said Lazzaro, now a freshman at the University of Minnesota Duluth. “It’s not just the game. The whole drive to the game is a Denfeld experience.”
That doesn’t mean she felt safe sticking around long after the final buzzer.
“We’d have to leave a little early because we were scared people would touch it,” Lazzaro said.
Even after school activities and sporting events, when Lazzaro shed her Super Fan duties, the Super Cav was still her car — permanently in Denfeld-ware.
“(My friends) were a little surprised that I was willing to drive that on an everyday level,” she said.
“It was my baby”
The title of Super Fan is given to three incoming seniors who have a lot of Denfeld school spirit. Recipients are selected by the outgoing Super Fans and then named during an all-school assembly that includes gestures borrowed from Middle Age knighting ceremonies.
“Usually, they pick someone who is loud and always getting rowdy at the games,” said Foldesi. “I knew Megan, and she knew I had a lot of spirit, so she picked me.”
As for who got the Super Cav: The other two Super Fans already had cars at their disposal, Lazzaro said.
Foldesi is a soccer captain, plays basketball and is part of Link Crew. His grades are good enough that he is kicking around the idea of a medical career.
“He’s a really liked guy,” Lazzaro said. “He’s respectable. He’s just nice and good with everyone, and he does have the Denfeld spirit.”
Lazzaro got a 2012 Toyota Camry for graduation — in a much more staid red.
This left the Super Cav ready for new ownership.
“We could sell it, but we’d have to deface it,” Coen said. “We wanted to keep it going and pay it forward.”
The deed was handed over to Foldesi’s parents Jim and Cheryl Foldesi (Denfeld class of ’87 and ’88, respectively) and Mark is charged with the insurance payments.
“It’s kind of weird seeing someone else driving it,” Lazzaro said. “People will be like, ‘There’s Megan. No, that’s not Megan anymore.’
“It was my baby.”
Maroon and gold
This year, Foldesi — and his co-Super Fans Austin Burley and Ben Rouse — can be expected to wear maroon capes and Zubaz pants, a horned hat and to wave a Denfeld flag.
But it’s not all face paint and gold shoelaces.
“If people are upset with how the game is going, they might go to the Super Fans and blame them,” Foldesi said.
And now, there is the car.
The Super Cav is maroon with gold doors, a gold hood and gold trunk. Half the rims are maroon, half are gold.
It’s traceable on social networking sites with hashtags, #supercav and #cavillac, but so far the activity has been light.
On the passenger side, there is art of a Vikings-style hat with horns.
There are maroon and gold beads hanging from the rear view mirror, and Foldesi has added maroon duct tape to the dashboard.
There are advertisements for Quality Collision, Coen’s insurance company and Anderson Signs.
“You have to be a Super Fan all the time,” Foldesi said.
And if not a Super Fan, he needs to at least be on his best behavior.
“Two people have told me he’s driving up Central Avenue super-fast,” said Cheryl Foldesi, referencing the oft-traveled street in West Duluth.
(Mark Foldesi claims this isn’t true — small cars just look like they’re moving fast, he said.)
His first official gig was during the Spirit Valley Days Parade, where he cruised with it down Grand Avenue.
For the most part, shotgun went unclaimed.
“Everyone was either outside of it or on top of it,” he said.
At stoplights, Foldesi is tuned in to who is staring or otherwise checking out his new wheels.
He either waves or pokes at the car’s two horns like a hunt-and-peck typist, making a series of quick beeps.
“My buddy says I get real focused, and my face gets funny when I do this,” he said.