Student Pep: Where to Draw the Line

Student Fans and Administration Can Find Common Ground

Maggie Grim, Reporter

At almost every boys basketball game the student section’s cheers get shut down. 

Chants, such as booing, are common in a high school student section; however, these actions do not follow the code of fair play at Susquehannock High School. 

In order to appease student enthusiasm and the administration’s expected levels of sportsmanship, the cheers should continue, only without negative jeers. 

Principal Kevin Molin explained that this is due to student chants not following school guidelines. 

Molin said,  “Anything that is demeaning to individual players or causes a distraction is not allowed….Booing…the players and officials don’t deserve that.” 

On the other hand, senior Carmen Clark says, “Booing is not breaking the rules; it’s not offensive in any way.” 

According to the code of fair play in the student handbook, students are to “refrain from cheering or making noises that are intended to interfere with any contest or cheering section of our opponent.”

 Molin is simply just making sure these rules are being followed to the code’s standards and is ensuring the students are  following the rules of the Pennsylvania Interscholastic Athletic Association’s as well.

Molin said,  ̈Philosophically, if student-athletes involved in playing the game are asked to follow those rules, then we believe our fans should do the same.¨

However, senior DJ Rohrbaugh thinks differently. 

Rohrbaugh said, “This limits your ability to be creative.” 

The handbook isn’t against everything; the students have come up with fun chants throughout the games, such as positive messages our team portrays and trying to hype up the team to be more motivated. 

Molin said, “They can yell positive things. They’re there to watch their peers play and be the show-not be the show themselves.” 

The students, such as junior Jeff Wagner, aren’t seeing it this way.

“He tells us to come out and have fun, but we can’t have fun,” said Wagner.

The students feel as if this is ruining their experience at the game. 

“I don’t care that they believe [if] it’s ruining their experience. It’s a distraction to the players and not fair for all the work they put into it, nobody deserves that,”said Molin. 

Senior CJ Munch explains the student section’s reasoning for wanting to be interactive at games.

“I’d rather stare at my ceiling then come sometimes. If we were allowed to cheer more, it would be better, and more people would want to come,” said Munch.

The students are aware that cheering and chanting does have an impact on their peers; however, they see this impact as positive.

Senior basketball captain Jake Eden appreciates the cheers.

  “The student section impacts us in a very positive way,” said Eden. “They bring in energy to the gym that makes it fun for us to play. It’s a huge confidence boost playing with that kind of energy in the gym. The student section is far from a distraction. If anything, it’s extra motivation to play harder and get the crowd going.” 

According to Eden, it is understood that some of the things said may come off as disrespectful and harsh to the other team, even though other schools do far worse. 

Molin wants students to set a higher example than other schools.

“Not every school keeps same the same standards that we do. I understand our student athletes  go places they’re not treated the best. But that’s not what our expectations are,” said Molin.

Taking this comment into consideration, our players might take other student sections’ comments a different way.  

They’re there to make comments and to try to get in our heads. We don’t take anything personally; that’s just their job and a part of this sport,”  said Eden. 

The students are asking for more freedom in what they say, to have an overall better experience at these games. 

Students feel as if these rules are just now starting to be applied, even more so than in the past.

Athletic director Brad Keeney  explained how this year has differed from past years.

¨We didn’t have a reason for it to be as enforced as it is until now because the negative comments grew,̈ said Keeney.

In order to appease both sides, the student section members need to ensure all chants are positive and directed towards uplifting our team; this way, they can have fun, and the administration will be satisfied with the level of respect and sportsmanship.

Sophomore Dameon Carter put it best, “Make Susky fun again.”

The student section has fun cheering on the Warriors.
Photograph by Maggie Grim

 

The student section watches a shot. Photograph by Maggie Grim

 

The student section gets pumped up. Photograph by Maggie Grim