Dear Toga student section: stop being so lame

November 12, 2022 — by Lena Aribi and Meher Bhatnagar
Photo by Ariel Zhou
A student staring at the bleachers in shock, wondering where everyone is. 
With sports games lacking in spirit, we are here as students of Saratoga High School to tell you to get up and cheer. 

Disclaimer: This is attributed to our personal preferences, reader discretion is advised.

Think of the iconic images from Friday nights in the fall — a time when students across the country gather by the hundreds or thousands on stadium bleachers to support and cheer on their football team. School spirit is supposed to be vibrant, the crowd is supposed to be going crazy with cheers and everyone is supposed to be wearing clothes that match the theme of the game. 

Sadly, at Saratoga High School it sometimes seems only a few dozen people dress according to the theme and cheer only when there is a touchdown and they’re not looking at their phones. It is hardly an iconic and spirited atmosphere.

Take, for example, the Sept. 23 Homecoming game vs. Mills High. A whiteout-themed game resulted in half of the students dressing accordingly and the other half wearing a chaotic mix of unrelated colors. If the students are not willing to put in the effort to at least match the theme, how can we expect to show our school spirit?

The other issue with that game and the neon-out game on Sept. 10 against Harbor High was that the leaders of the student section were kids who didn’t even go to our school. The school spirit of our student section was so dull that our rival school had to pitch in to help. Students from Los Gatos High tried to fix our broken student section, but even their helpless chants couldn’t raise our flagging school spirit. 

The glum look on everyone’s face persisted throughout the game as the opposing team scored their first touchdown. By the time the third quarter rolled around, about half the student section had cleared out, with students either standing in the parking lot or halfway across town. 

While the football team, rally, and spirit commission have tried to enhance the sports culture at our school, it is up to us, as students, to contribute to the change. Once packed to the top of the bleachers, the student section has slowly disintegrated down to the first three rows, sparsely filled with a few people going across. 

This lack of participation doesn’t just apply to football games; we have seen the same trends in sports like volleyball, field hockey and tennis, to name a few. We understand if you are busy on some days or not allowed to go to a game; we have been in your position. Still, we strongly urge you to make time to see at least a couple of games each season, bringing that contagious enthusiasm and spirit we all long for our crowds to emanate. The experience is totally worth it. 

Instead of giving up hope and accepting defeat, students need to do a better job of showing their enthusiasm and pride. 

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