SHS student section etiquette: how to do it right

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Photo by Dylan Lindly

Seniors at SHS cheer for the football team during the game against Gillette. The Sheridan High School Broncs lost the game 21-18.

With football and volleyball in the heart of their season and basketball fast approaching, Bronc fans are eager to show their support for each activity. With all the commotion, problems may arise especially within the student section. It has become all too easy to forget that respect is something that carries on from school to activities. Arrogant seniors believing they own the student section and the front row no matter what, has become a daunting problem and even causes some student fans to skip events to avoid confrontation.

Seniority is often abused in the student section to have a better view of game, to paint up, and decide cheers. Traditionally the front rows are reserved for the seniors and the remainder for underclassmen. The problem with seniority is that some seniors feel they deserve the front row, even if they don’t plan on cheering. This takes away from the underclassmen who plan on cheering and watching the game but aren’t allowed a certain row because of their age. Many seniors feel they have earned the right to the front row after three years of cheering from the back. Senior Sarah Forister said, “I feel that it’s only fair that the underclassmen wait their turn to sit in the front row just like every senior class has in the past.”

To solve the problem of seating, only seniors who plan on cheering and who actually want to watch the game (not texting constantly, turning around often, taking pictures of oneself, and bickering among each other) should be allowed in the front row. If there are too many seniors to fit in the front row, they need to move to the next row up; an overcrowded row makes everyone uncomfortable and no one can enjoy the game. All underclassmen can move one row up to fit the remaining seniors. If you want a specific spot in the student section, show up early and no saving spots for someone who intends to show up late.

The point of the student section is to cheer on our team and support them. As games get heated, it’s easy to feel the need to attack a certain player. If one of our team players makes a mistake, attacking the individual won’t make him or her play any better. The same goes for referees when a bad call is made. The referee’s job is to call penalties and fouls on each team, and they are certified to make these calls. Just because the call may seem wrong to some in the student section, it may have been an obvious call on the turf or court. Although it’s easy to have demeaning cheers, it needs to be resisted. Cheer on our team and get them going with the cheerleaders. They have already prepared cheers that are school appropriate and respectful. Poor cheers will only fire up an opposing team’s player, make a ref angry, and make the student section appear to be disrespectful. Also, during injuries, be polite and pause the commotion out of respect; the trainers and coaches need to communicate to get the injured athlete the attention he or she needs and high noise levels can make this difficult.

Respect everyone who is trying to watch the game, including parents and fans from both teams. They are there to watch the game and want to be able to see. If adult fans are sitting down somewhere outside of the student section, refrain from standing in front of them when the section becomes crowded, instead move up. Respect should be extended to those who aren’t prominent during the game, such as janitors and staff members. Often, they don’t make their presence apparent until they begin cleaning up the trash in the student section after the game. Seniors and upperclassmen should set an example by cleaning up after themselves and anyone else.

Student section etiquette is an important part of enjoying every Bronc game no matter the sport.