A Plea for Equal Fan Support

By Kathryn Stender Every year, Latin fields 23 Varsity Sports teams, which is a huge number for our relatively small school. And with 75 percent of students in the middle and upper school participating, it is safe to say that sports are a big part of many students’ lives. Still, besides parents and siblings, there are few, if any, fans at any given game, meet, or competition, and even fewer fans at girls games compared to boys games, which especially holds true for status games such as Homecoming and Loyola. But, fans are important, and more, myself included, should make the effort to attend because they make a big difference to the athletes and increase spirit and unity in our school. Senior and member of the varsity basketball and volleyball team, Johnny Moss says, “As a member of multiple sports teams, attendance at games definitely alters the atmosphere. In addition to playing for yourself, you also play for all the fans in the stands. There is nothing like hearing the roar and thunder from students and parents alike in the bleachers and knowing that they are all cheering you. That’s why I love playing in the DePaul game.” And, Johnny is right, fans really do matter. Considering the workload, outside commitments, and limited time, Latin students generally do a good job of encouraging all teams, productions, dance squads, and more. A few times a year, our school sets up time for students to support one another and show immense spirit and school pride, like the Homecoming field hockey and soccer games and the Latin basketball games in the winter. But, every year, I am astounded by the disparity in attendance for male and female teams. Homecoming is Latin’s way to kick off the school year, celebrating the entire community, including parents, lower-schoolers, teachers, alums, and staff. But, Keegan Barone, senior and starter on Varsity Field Hockey, states, “we, [the field hockey team], got almost no fans throughout my entire high school career. The biggest crowd we ever got was the crowd in the second half of the homecoming game with the people getting there early for the boys soccer game.” So why do so few people come to support the girl’s field hockey, while the stands are filled and electric during the soccer game? I can’t answer that question, but I do know that while I sat through the cold, enjoying Field Hockey’s awesome win against St. Ignatius, people continuously came up to me to ask if I wanted to leave and go get breakfast before the soccer game. As for the “Latin-Parker Game” every winter, a similar phenomenon happens. I am always disappointed because that amazing rush that Johnny was talking about is almost absent during the beginning of the girls’ game. As junior John Schuler says, “the girls definitely get fans, but as the night goes on, more people come, so the game with the most people is the guys by a fair amount.” Fans come, don’t get me wrong, and thank you to all those that support! But, it is disheartening when the arena is half as filled as we run onto the court for warm-up and tipoff. Last year, it was especially discouraging, when the majority of our classmates and friends were wearing T-shirts made with only the boy’s team in mind, excluding our very role in the event. In the end, I wish that we supported our teams more equally, all the teams, not just the teams that are winning games. So my personal goal is to make a better effort to cheer on all the clubs, organizations, teams, and productions at our awesome school. As Johnny says, “fans are a motivator, and hearing them pushes [everyone] to strive for excellence and perform at a greater level … as well as bring together our already close-knit community even more.” So, let’s all try to make that extra effort and support every organization how we would like ours to be supported.]]>