Football team to focus on spirit

Hanna Torline, sports editor

In an effort to maintain a spirited school atmosphere during football games, a few changes have been made by the team, and students are being encouraged to be more involved in the games.

Senior defensive lineman Zach Callahan wants to see just as much student involvement at games this season as there was last season.

“I think the student spirit is fantastic,” Callahan said. “I just hope it doesn’t die down since most of it came from the graduating class last year.”

To encourage just as much spirit this year, one of the new ideas that will be incorporated during games is having recorded music played during kickoffs and many times throughout the game. Head coach Joel Applebee hopes that it will boost spirit and excitement, but realizes this will only happen if students embrace the change and participate.

“Hopefully playing a lot more music will add to the spirit,” Applebee said. “Getting involved with the band, doing chants, and singing the fight song is really important [for students to do].”

 At the same time, Applebee recognizes spirit was still high last year.

“I thought [spirit] was pretty good last year for the most part,” Applebee said. “But we can always improve.”

Like Applebee, many of the players are asking students to do small things to significantly improve the atmosphere at games.

Junior nose guard Reed Harbour wants to see more students come out to support the team.

“Just come to the games,” Harbour said. “Be excited, show school spirit, and wear spirit wear.”

 Thinking along the same lines, sophomore fullback and wide receiver Henry Midyett thinks the most important improvement that can be made is having more students show up.

“The more support we have, the better we play,” Midyett said. “Get everyone there that you can. The more, the better.”

Another piece of advice came from freshman left guard Steven Blaine, who wants to see more spirit wear at games.

“I want to see more people wearing football spirit wear,” Blaine said. “I want people to be there for football, be excited to support the team and wearing their spirit wear.”

Members of Blue Crew agree with the idea of improving student wear. They are making T-shirts to sell at games and at lunch in order to have all the students in the stands matching. Everyone who buys the shirt will be considered a member of the club, which promotes school spirit.

Another thing Blue Crew will be promoting is tailgating before games, something sophomore center Knute Holden thinks needs to be improved.

“[More people should be] tailgating before away and home games,” Holden said. “[People could attend] away games by setting up student busses to take to the games.”

So that students can get pumped up for games, junior wide receiver Alec Donn wants to see the strict rules during football games become a little more lenient.

“For [students] to show more spirit, the administration should be letting us do more crazy things in control,” Donn said.

Some of the ideas other players gave included having “theme nights” like the basketball team had, setting up more pep rallies, and making a football flag to hang in the school on game days.

Regardless of how the students show their school pride, junior linebacker Blake Miles sees the way it impacts the team. “It gets us ready for the games if the school is excited,” Miles said. “In order to do that, we need leadership among the fans.”

Callahan also recognizes the importance of having enthusiastic fans.

“Students can be louder, more excited,” Callahan said. “And they can actually come to the games. [School spirit is] important because whether the students know it or not, it’s a big factor in us winning or losing.”

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