Continuing with tradition, student sections at school athletic events are typically led by that year’s senior class.
Senior Vittoria Duque runs the Twitter page @RamFam2017 in efforts to reach the Roberson student body. On the account, she said she works to keep school spirit alive while announcing themes for games or events that the school wants large crowds present. In the modern age, student sections are often organized via social media.
“Running Ram Fam, I have to try to stay on top of every sport that’s happening. It’s kinda hard when people from other schools try to start Twitter drama. We try to stay away from it, but sometimes students like to egg it on just to get others more [excited],” Duque said.
For athletes like senior Abby Bischof, having a student section creates a domino effect of enthusiasm throughout the crowd.
“The students get hype, and then so do the players. That makes everyone excited. One after another. Then the parents come and get excited, so it definitely influences [the team] a lot,” she said.
As a member of the men’s varsity soccer team, senior Imanol Yepez-Frias agrees that having a student section contributes to the success of his team.
“Whenever your team is playing and you’re on the field and the student section is talking and yelling and energizing you, it really helps focus you on how you’re playing with your teammates,” Yepez-Frias said.
This year, Assistant Principal Beverly Benfield has been seen as one of the main chant leaders during intense rivalry basketball games. However, she admits that the student section can get rowdy and some students might get too much into the cheering.
“We have a ‘timeout penalty box,’ and if someone says something inappropriate or says something that they know they’re not supposed to say, they have to go over to the ‘timeout penalty box.’ And they have to stand there for 1 to 3 minutes,” Benfield said.
Benfield said she supports the student section and believes their contribution to school spirit is very important.
“I love it when they are so excited and so ramped up making so much noise that you can’t hear anything. I really think that they understand, at this point, that it’s more about cheering than it is tearing somebody else down,” Benfield said.
While the student section can be heard loud and clear in the stands, senior Jacob McCarthy said the visual of the crowd is the more encouraging aspect of the student section.
“By playing basketball, I don’t really hear what anyone says. But when I look up in the crowd and I see that people are there, it’s really supporting to me,” McCarthy said.
Throughout his time in high school, McCarthy feels that his participation within the student section has changed from freshman to senior year.
“My freshman year, I didn’t really participate in it that much because I was scared of the seniors. They were really big, and I felt out of place. But over the years, I’ve become more comfortable,” he said.
As seniors prepare to graduate, Bischof believes that they are passing the torch on to keep school spirit alive in the student section. She encourages younger students to continue the tradition.
“Dress up for sure. Go all out completely. Get there early and get your spot. Make some noise, cheer with the cheerleaders, and yell at the team to get them going,” Bischof said.