High school athletics means a lot of different things for different people. For some, it’s just an extra curricular to put on a college application. Some people just love being a part of a team. And for many, it’s a ticket to a better education than they could’ve ever imagined.
Whatever the reason, high school sports bring a bunch of kids together to represent their school, and ultimately their community. On the other side, it is the other students’ responsibility to show their support.
Going into this school year, there was definitely a lack of school spirit at my high school. In early September, the gym was quiet for volleyball games. It was boring, and it seemed like everyone was there only because they had to.
It wasn’t a good feeling, being an observing student. I can only assume it wasn’t the ideal home court advantage that the players hoped for either. So, my friends and I decided to start the official student section.
As the fall season went on, we began to see bigger and bigger crowds at volleyball, soccer, and football games. Realizing that our efforts were working, we wanted to expand even more. We decided to create a wild home court presence for basketball season.
In preparation, we made t-shirts that read “6th Man” on the front, with a cougar paw on the back. While there are five basketball players on the court from our school, we wanted the student section to be the 6th man that gave our team an advantage.
In addition, we didn’t even keep the profits. Only concerned with creating a sea of 6th Man shirts at basketball games, we donating the profits to a club that raises money for kids in local hospitals.
Then came the first game. Right after school we blocked off a section of the bleachers with yellow caution tape, went home to wait until game time, and hoped desperately for a good turnout.
A good turnout would’ve been an understatement. Sure enough, soon after the caution tape was taken down, the student section was born. Students flooded into the bleachers, a lot of them never having come to a basketball game before.
Not only was the attendance incredible, but the participation exceeded our expectations as well. Everyone joined in as we yelled, heckled the opposing team, and cheered for our own. We won the game, and from then on, the student section has given our team home court advantage.
Our basketball team boasts a 5-2 home record so far this season, both losses to top 15 teams in the state, a major improvement from last season. After all, 6 men is more than 5.