Where’s the cheer?

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Alexys Cartmel, Staff Writer

     Sporting events have not been the same lately with a very noticeable component missing, the cheer block. With capacity limitations, not many students have been able to get tickets and go to Friday night games, meaning the parents and cheer squad are the ones running the stands. 

     Each year the seniors and the Black and Blue Crew take control of the student section in leading them in the chants. The Black and Blue Crew started in 2014, when a group of students thought that there needed to be more spirit at the games. These groups of kids would send out what the theme of the game was that night, and lead the students into cheers.

     Despite there being no cheer block this year, we still have the boys’ number one supporters, the cheerleaders. Although they do play a key role in cheering, it has not been all that great without the students. Cheer Coach Ashley Moeller mentioned, “Usually, the cheer block completely ignores what the cheerleaders are trying to do. We don’t always get a response, but Seniors Audrey Fox and Mazie Wathen have been super helpful in facilitating some sort of cheer block. There is actually more participation this year than ever before. What we are missing most is the band. The pep band is an integral part of what we do. The bass drum would always drum along with our clapping and we are really missing the band dances and school song.” 

     Since the state is in Stage 5 of getting back to normal, the Indiana Health Department is allowing the school to have a 500 person limit at sporting events. Although we have the max number of people change, the social distancing regulations are still in effect. 

      According to Athletic Director Scott Stevens, “Ticket restrictions are still in place because the Governor’s order still requires social distancing.  Due to social distancing, we still cannot have student cheer sections, unless the students are socially distanced (more than 6′ separation).”

     For our upcoming winter seasons the school is hoping to see more attention in the cheering sections.  Senior Black and Blue Crew member Audrey Fox commented, “Depending on regulations with COVID, I am hoping to get some student sections together definitely for big basketball games, and maybe even some together for swim meets and wrestling meets, especially senior nights. Again, those sports are incredibly hard to get people to come to because the sports are a little more “boring” to watch because students don’t know those sports as well as big sports like basketball and football. It’s especially hard to get students at events where there is already a low student-attendance rate anyway. We are really building from basically ground up when it comes to getting students to come to those “unpopular” sporting events, with the only students attending those being siblings or close friends of those athletes.”