With Football Team Undefeated, Student Section Needs Improvement

With Football Team Undefeated, Student Section Needs Improvement

Kernan Lynch, Staff Writer

The student section: a place where countless memories are made as you cheer on the home team. A place — and atmosphere — that people look forward to being a part of on a Friday night. A place full of high energy as fans and friends show their unconditional love and support for the home team. 

The lively environment is a great way to end a long week at school, as the constant screaming, occasional chirping, and the thrill of the marching band blasting the fight song make watching games so much better.

It’s a place that is welcoming to all. 

But the student section, in this unprecedented year, cannot even compare to student sections in years past. Limited to a microscopic capacity of just 58 people, the school has made sure to implement social distancing with black tape marks in order to keep every student safe.

But in a school full of 1,600 students, this first-come, first-serve system makes it hard for everybody to be involved. According to the guidelines, less than five percent of the student body is afforded the pleasure to watch it in person.

I was fortunate enough to secure a ticket to the game against Libertyville, and I was pleased to see my friends and classmates secure the win. It was fun to finally watch a game for the first time in forever, especially to see the Scouts defeat their arch-rivals.

Despite the win, there were some aspects of the student section that left me disappointed. 

Upon arrival, the first thing I noticed was that there was an abundance of empty rows at the top of the student section. Why was the student section limited to just 58 people if there was still space for more fans?

If we can continue to practice social distancing, I don’t see the problem with adding more people to fill those rows. If the capacity could safely be expanded, then the environment could be even better.

Now that students are back in the building five days a week at nearly full capacity, our school has recently cut the distance between desks in the building from six feet to three feet. If we can increase the number of students in the building and lessen the distance between them, why can’t this also be implemented in the student section, which has the added benefit of being outdoors?

I was also dissatisfied with the participation of the students during the game. There’s no question as to whether or not you need to be vocal, especially in the small student section that we have. Every home team loves a strong student section. But if you are planning on going to the game only to sit there in silence, then you simply shouldn’t come. There is an abundance of enthusiastic students who are eager to snag a ticket and cheer their heads off. We need a live environment for the sake of the team to secure every win we can.

It also felt out of place that the marching band is now on the visitor’s side of the field. For the past three years, we have had the pleasure to be right next to them; the whole reason why the student section currently is on the far end of the stands is because of the band. They really help keep the energy at a maximum during times of need, and the combination of a raucous student section and a boisterous band creates a really special atmosphere. 

In the end, I’m fortunate to have the opportunity to attend football games this season. It feels like we are finally taking a step in the right direction back towards normalcy for the first time in what seems like forever.

My complaints could never overshadow the joy of watching my friends and teammates succeed, but I know that a more engaged crowd will help the Scouts end their regular season on the high note that they deserve.