By definition, a student section is a group of student fans that support their school’s athletic teams. They are known for being one of the most visible and vocal sections of a crowd. With different themes each week and obnoxious chants that are reverberated across a field, students can’t pass up spending their Friday nights under the stadium lights.
Here at Northview, we have never had a reputation of being an outrageously wild or spirited student section. But every year, seniors say how dedicated they feel our crowd is and the morale that resonates throughout never dies, even during a loss. In one of the toughest football seasons we have had in a while, the current seniors have a lot of responsibility in keeping the student section positive and spirited.
Three years ago, the Wildcats won six out of ten games and made it to the first round of districts, only to lose to Muskegon. Many students in the senior class remember how “hyped” the crowd was that year, and the large numbers of fans who came to watch the team play. Students regularly stormed the field after a home win, and the senior leaders kept up morale when the score was rough. This year, the student section has not had the chance of storming the field, and many times students end up leaving the game early when they know a win is not in sight.
“The seniors our freshman year had a lot to do with the student section: they did a really good job,” senior Lexi Wolters said. As a co-leader herself, Wolters knows the difficulties of bringing together a good student section. She admitted that there has been some miscommunication between the senior leaders, leading to small spirit buses and even smaller away crowds at football games, possibly contributing to the team’s defeat on the road.
Wolters hoped to promote Northview as a spirited school to others in the area, proving that we could care less about the score and more about Wildcat pride. But with the varying size of the student sections at each game, it’s hard to say that the school as a whole doesn’t let the numbers on the scoreboard affect their time and effort throughout the season.
September 22 was an away game against Forest Hills Central, which ended up being a 16-51 loss for the Wildcats. The first half boasted a full student section of all classes, with many seniors to lead the crowd. But as the night bore on and Central’s score kept rising, many students began to leave the game. By the end of the fourth quarter, roughly twenty students – predominantly upperclassmen – remained to support the team in their defeat.
Twitter became scattered with lines of “thanks to the REAL wildcats who stayed through the whole game,” and “proud of the wildcats that stayed and supported tonight.” With so little participation, how can Northview hold up against bigger schools like Central when it comes to school spirit?
In a disappointing season of football, the Wildcats are unable to be a comparable student section to the 2014 season. It is much easier to cheer for a winning team. But one cannot deny that even if the crowd at Northview is quiet for parts of the game, the student section never fails to chant the fight song at the top of their lungs whenever the team scores.