For several students, February means that it’s time to start thinking about spring sports. At South, spring has more varsity sports than either fall or winter. Baseball, softball, tennis, track, golf and lacrosse all run from March to May. There are lots of sports, but where is the student spirit?
A Friday night in September or October means football or soccer, sometimes both. In the winter, it’s all about basketball. Students from all different groups and grades regularly attend these sporting events dressing up in the nightly theme and carrying signs to support their friends. But in the spring, South’s tightly-packed, enthusiastic and loud student sections seemingly vanish.
“I would guess around five students show up to watch our games,” senior Thu Le, who plays on South’s varsity girls’ tennis team, said. “I think there were a couple occasions where there was a group of students.”
For baseball, it’s even fewer.
“If I had to make a guess on how many students usually show up to one of our baseball games I would say maybe one or two — not that many at all,” sophomore Kaden Miller said, who plays on South’s baseball team in the spring.
Students pointed to the reality that going to high school games is motivated by the social intent as much as it is by interest and enthusiasm in actually watching the sport.
“Kids go to the basketball, football and soccer games because other kids go,” said sophomore Eloise McFarlane, who regularly attends fall and winter sports games with her friends. “Those are the games that everyone goes to in high school. It’s just a high school tradition and it’s what’s cool.”
Football and basketball are the most heavily broadcast and viewed sports in the nation, and this truth remains in the realm of high school.
“Tennis and track are individual sports so you’d go to watch one or two people play instead of an entire team,” senior Kiana Travers said. “And I think that that’s less appealing to people. This year, though, I want to go to more games in the spring. They deserve just as much attention.”
Although spring sports athletes at South would love to see a stronger student fanbase at their home games, it has been a constant for years that football, basketball and soccer get the most student attention. This year, however, a group of seniors plans to create a student spirit legacy for their class by making an appearance at at least one of every sports game, including those in the spring.