SamBerman– Senior Section Editor
It’s a Friday night, and the Cougar fans have all come out to watch their high school football team play their hearts out. The members of the student section know the players; they have classes with them, walk past them in the halls, and are most likely friends with a few of the ones on the field. Because of this personal relationship between the players and the fans, it is the implied responsibility of the fans to attend every game and be as rowdy as possible. Being on the field and hearing the presence of a student section cheering may give a player a boost of confidence, but is there any real correlation between the fans’ amplitude and the level of performance of the players being cheered on? Should the fans be to blame when the team does poorly? Should the fans really be expected to continue paying money to stand in disappointment watching their team lose? Having fans come to a game should not be an expectation, but a privilege.
Often times, when a blowout takes place or a game is simply uninteresting, fans will leave early. Afterwards, they may be shamed for being disloyal, but there is no rule saying that they need to stay the whole time. Free time is extremely important to high schoolers, so I don’t believe anyone wants to spend their free time being disappointed. It is also essential for the players to understand that it isn’t a requirement for students to go to games. Student athletes have said before that when fans leave, it kills the spirit of the team; that having little fan support has a definite impact on the way they play. However, the situation should be quite the opposite. Logically, if a team does well, they will attract a bigger fan base. When a team does poorly, the will lose fan support. Performance on the field should not be affected by the size of the team’s student section, it should instead impact how big the fanbase is.
By writing this article, by no means am I bashing any team at Chattahoochee or implying that students should not attend games. I simply wish to break the misconception that students have that great of an impact on the performance of the players. Having a strong student section is not the responsibility of the students, but more the challenge of the players to give the fans something to cheer about.