Ridgewood High School prides itself on the excellent attendance of its football games. The bleachers are always filled with students from each grade cheering loudly for the team. The turnout this year has been especially substantial which many attribute to the large participation in the themes. While school pride appears to be high, football is the only sport that attracts a large student crowd. Those attending games for sports such as soccer, lacrosse, hockey and many others typically consist of parents and only a few student supporters. A large factor contributing to football’s popularity could be credited to home varsity football games being on Friday nights. It is the perfect place for individuals to spend time with friends in an environment that is thrilling and pumping with adrenaline. In fact, many students schedule their Friday’s around the games. In comparison, students have commitments that prevent them from watching other sports games on school nights including academic work. In addition, games differ between days of the week making it hard to keep track of.
In order to increase the amount of student support each sports team gets, a larger effort is needed. When asking friends and classmates why they do not attend other sports games, the majority of them responded that they are never aware of when they are. An easy way to remind students about the upcoming games could include announcements every time there is a home sports game. For sports teams whose home field is not at RHS the high school could provide buses to and from the events. Another way to increase student attendance could be done by designating the home games of a specific sport to Friday and Saturdayin other parts of the year. As seen at football games, many students are willing to spend their free nights cheering on their classmates. A different way to draw attention towards upcoming games could be done by having athletes ask their friends to wear their jersey’s or part of their uniform to school on the day of and to the game. By creating a type of obligation that is exciting, the individuals asked and their friends who accompany them will look forward to it with high anticipation. Finally, pep rally’s should be held in a way that truly increases school spirit. Before a big home game, the school could organize an assembly to ensure that the students know about the game, which would also get the athletes fired up for their big game. In the end, when a sports team has a large crowd, they are more likely to play better. Sports teams can help support each other.
Overall, football receives the most student attendance compared to any other sport at RHS, mainly because their home games are on Friday. Nonetheless, each grade can build the reputation of other sporting events by encouraging peers to go. Afterall, teens do not like to miss out on taking part in the fun. No matter what, this starts with individual’s and ends with the excitement for the particular athletic team.
Graphic: Riley Campbell