Three Niles North High School teachers pitched tents on the school's football field late Thursday night to be ready for the 5:30 a.m. visit of an ABC7 news helicopter.
"We woke up about 4 a.m. to get ready for ABC to come at 4:30, so we had maybe a two-hour nap," said Caroline Benjamin, director of student activities at the school, attended by students from Skokie, Morton Grove and Niles.
They also set up Krispy Kreme donuts, orange juice and coffee for students to eat. While teenagers are notorious for wanting to sleep late, about 500 students started arriving around 5 a.m. That's almost a quarter of the student body.
"It's amazing what a donut can do to get kids up at that time," Benjamin observed.
And while they may be newbies, the freshman showed impressive spirit.
"We were doing cheers with the kids, and the freshmen were the loudest," she said.
The freshmen also had the highest number of kids show up, so they won a pizza party for everyone in their class.
Students lined up to make three formations on the field. Viewed from the air, they said "Go Vikings," "NNHS" and "We R 1."
By early afternoon, most students were still awake.