Sports support anomaly

danielle joseph, Sports Editor

When reflecting on their time in high school, many students will remember the stands packed with blue and gold at the John Davis Stadium and the Titan Dome as the student section cheers loudly to show their school spirit. Even though many students show up to football, boys’ basketball, and girls’ volleyball games, very few students attend the competitions of other sports, sophomore Mackenzie Lathrop, girls’ JV basketball and soccer player, said. South offers a wide variety of sports, but only a few of them get high levels of student recognition, Lathrop explained.

While it is evident that certain sports get more attention than others, Athletic Director Tom Mietus emphasized that the athletic department works to promote all sports equally on social media. However, he said the ball sits in the students’ court in order to attend different sports events. 

“[Student turnout at games] has been tough to address because ultimately we are able to tell people when and where to go, but the students have to [choose to] show up,” Mietus said. 

Similarly,  Lathrop said that the lack of interest in certain sports makes it difficult to motivate students to attend less popular games. 

“Some sports don’t get as much attention as others because of [their] popularity,” Lathrop said. “If you don’t know about [the sport], you are not going to have an interest in it [and attend events for that sport].” 

Differences in popularity is one reason for varied student support. Senior Andy Ko, Titan Nation Leader, also believes that lower energy at games could explain the limited student turnout for many sports. When games have lower levels of attendance, they usually have lower levels of energy, and are perceived as less exciting, Ko explained.

“[Student turnout] depends on the audience’s perception, because for people to go to a sports game, it has to be fun,” Ko said. “[Students] always have expectations that the games they want to go to always has to have the most energy.”

Lathrop noted that she felt frustrated when few people attend or acknowledge her sports because of the dedication she and her teammates put in daily. Lathrop believes that the best way to draw more attention to sports is to rework the schedules to assure that students can attend as many games as possible. Athletic directors from many local high schools, including South, changed the sports schedules in hopes that more students would go to games, Mietus said.

“[For basketball], it used to be that boys played on Friday night and girls played on Thursday,” Mietus said. “As a conference, we’ve changed that to boys’ and girls’ all play on Friday night.”

Because Titan Nation Leaders attend numerous different sporting events, Ko appreciates seeing the variety of different sports at South. He said that it is important to not only attend the games of a few popular sports, but instead to go to many different sporting events to support more athletes.

 “It is important for students to support everyone they can,” Ko said.