WHS Student Sections Gain Popularity

Student sections had big turnouts for the winter sports playoffs

High School sports are an integral part of the Walpole community, yet the student section turnout has always been in flux. Some seasons there is a strong showing and other seasons there are minimal fans. Fan sections have the power to change games, never mind make them more fun. When fan sections are loud and energetic, they have the power to transfer that energy to the game and perpetuate any momentum. Fan sections also provide distraction to opposing players during intense moments like a shoot-out or foul-shot that can cost a team the loss.

This winter season, the trend of fan sections not going to girls’ games continued. The Girl’s Basketball team was especially excited for playoffs because it would be the first time they had a fan section of more than about thirty students at the most. The Girl’s Basketball team was the only winter team to win the Bay State Championship, yet they did not have large fan sections until the playoffs. Girl’s Hockey did not get a large fan section either, yet they had a strong showing and made the playoffs.

A student section is not all about the gender of the team, it is also about whether the student body displays interest in going through conversations at school or social media platforms. Many underclassmen rely on seniors as the measure of interest for a student section because even when there are juniors or underclassmen going, students are hesitant to come unless seniors make it known that they are coming too. This must end because students should go with their friends when they want to and not based on when they think the rest of the school will go.

Fan buses should be held more often because they could get more underclassmen, as seen with the round of eight games this winter. Since underclassmen can not drive, the fan bus allows them to come to the game and to get a bigger crowd for the game. Regular season away games traditionally do not have as many fans because they are harder to get to; therefore, fan buses could get more fans for not only playoffs, but also regular season
away games. Also, more students would likely come to get their money’s worth if there were packages for certain sports or certain seasons.

There does not have to be fans every game, but a few large showings would be nice for teams to feel both supported and to get used to a playoff-like environment when they have trouble hearing both teammates and coaches. The strong student section showing in the winter playoffs should continue into the spring season. Even though winter seasons are popular for sports because of the close proximity to the game, spring games can attract fans too. It is nice in the spring, so it is the perfect time to be outside anyway. Also, there is a variety of interests in the spring season whether it be softball, baseball, lacrosse or more individual sports such as track and field or tennis.