An Open Letter to the Student Body: It Takes a Nation

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An Open Letter to the Student Body: It Takes a Nation

Kyle Wix

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Dear Student Body,

I know many of you will glance over this article, or are too busy to read the whole thing, so I’ll give you the quick summary now so my message gets across. Our student attendance at sporting events–and the football games in particular–has been downright embarrassing thus far in 2017. Our football team deserves a better student section and school spirit. With it being homecoming week, I encourage every student to come out Friday night at 7pm for the football game. It is time we step up as a student body and show our school spirit and pride with a full student section for the entire game. With that said, I’ll dive into more detail as to what is actually going on here.

If you were one of the few people that attended last week’s football game you may have noticed the sparsely populated student section, and the Stevenson High School students that packed their visiting side of the bleachers. If you stayed beyond the second half, you may have also witnessed the mass exodus of Lake Forest students leaving after halftime as well. I understand the ACT may have been the following day, but the attendance on Friday was shameful for a big home game for our football team. We played a strong Stevenson team that should have drawn a big, rowdy crowd. Instead, attendance was light and by the third quarter the Stevenson student section had more people in it than we did.

Let that sink in.

We were embarrassed mightily by a rival school–a school we consider one of our fiercest rivals–at our own field. As a big Scout athletics fan, I found this attendance to be extremely disappointing. I was disconcerted that my school could barely show up for a home game, while the other team’s bleachers were full of pride and support. After the game, I realized something had to be done to get our student body more involved and supportive of our school.

Since the Forest Scout newspaper began, there have been many well-crafted articles regarding student participation. Articles have encouraged students to go to homecoming, turnabout, prom, etc. While the articles were persuasive and well-versed, the students did not seem to heed the advice of participating fully in school activities. I am writing this article to get students to think twice about the choices they make. If they truly believe not going to the game to support their peers is the right choice for them, then so be it. Hopefully, after reading this article and considering the options at hand, students will gain a new perspective and thought process of what it means to be a student here, and what it means to support your friends and the school.

After last year’s class graduated, I sort of flowed into the role of one of the Scout Nation leaders. Scout Nation is the club dedicated to supporting our school’s athletic programs. Last year, our senior class did a solid job in supporting their classmates’ achievements on the field by going to support them at their games. When I got to high school, one of the biggest things I looked forward to was having the ability to support the athletic programs and my fellow peers on the field. Listen: I understand I am a big sports fan–probably much bigger than I should be–but I think anyone can appreciate going to support their own friends when they play. I play for the baseball team, and I think it’s awesome when my friends come and watch us play. For this reason, I understand how the football players and other athletes must feel when they look up and see a sparse student section. A filled student section does a lot for the pride and morale of the team (see football player Colin Lochiatto’s piece on the subject). A filled student section shows that the student body cares and is ready to support their team no matter the result. While we may have no impact on the field, the players feel valued and supported when their friends and peers are out there watching them play.

Scout Nation has done a lot on social media to promote each sport and their respective games. I’ll be the first one to admit we can do a better job at cheering and having more fun at the games, and as Scout Nation leader I must shoulder a lot of the load myself. But it is also on you, the students, to show up and stay at the games. It is on you to make the choice to support your friends instead of staying home and making poor decisions. I understand there are other things you can be doing on Friday nights, but here’s the thing: there will be hundreds and hundreds of weekend nights in your life to party it up, but there will only be about twenty home games in your high school career, depending on the circumstances. So save it. The point is, very soon there will be no more opportunities to go and watch your friends compete for your school. You’ll soon be watching athletes in giant stadiums often fit for hundreds of thousands of people that you don’t know and have no personal connection with. These people at LFHS at your classmates. Many of them are your friends. They deserve your support.

You can do all the other stuff on Friday nights later in your life, but during your high school career you should spend the time supporting your fellow peers out on the field. Unlike a school dance or activity, a sporting event is an easy way to have fun with a school activity. You don’t have to worry about dates, dresses, or friend groups. At the games, it is all about being one student body for Lake Forest High School and having fun cheering on our fellow peers. That’s about as easy and fun as it gets.

As we all know, this week is homecoming week. There is no better time to start showing your school spirit and support of our our students. Throughout the week, I have seen many students participating in spirit week, which is a great sign of school spirit. With the pep rally during school, and the cookout before the game, there are plenty of opportunities to show up and support the Scouts. On behalf of Scout Nation, I encourage everyone to show up and cheer on our football team on Friday night. You don’t have to love football, or be the craziest fan out there (of course we would love that kind of support), but we do want you there. We want everyone to show up and display their commitment and pride for our school. That is what these activities are all about: taking pride in your school and your peers out on the field. For those of you that decide not to come, I hope you think twice about what you choose to do otherwise. The one thing I know is that those who decide to show up to the game will have a great time supporting their school and their team. Win or lose, big crowd or small, we are all Scouts and that is what this week is all about. There is no exclusivity with Scout Nation. Come one, come all. The more, the absolute merrier. 

The football game is Friday night at 7pm vs. Warren Township High School. Student Council is hosting a cookout at West Campus before the game starting at 5:30pm. For Scout Nation, we are keeping it simple quite simple. Wear your best blue and gold Scout gear and show up with a great attitude and spirit. I encourage everyone to show up, pack the stands, and embrace everything the game has to offer. Grab your friends, carpool, wear coordinated outfits, text in a group chat, whatever you have to do to get as many people there as possible. Our football team deserves and needs your support to get back on track. It is on us, the students, to do our job and show our support to our friends out on the field. Let’s end homecoming week together with great school spirit at West Campus as we watch our Scouts get back on track with a big win over the Warren Blue Devils.

See you all Friday.

An Open Letter to the Student Body: It Takes a Nation

P.S. Please do not sit down in the student section. It looks stupid. If you want to sit, wait for halftime, in between quarters, or sit in the parent section.