The news site of Glenbrook South High School.

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The news site of Glenbrook South High School.

The Oracle

The news site of Glenbrook South High School.

The Oracle

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Women support women

Girl’s sports work together to fill the stands
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Tightly crammed, leaving only the slightest room to move, the stands in the Titan Dome are packed with students, parents and kids of all ages excited to support South’s boys’ swimming. After the crowds flooded the hallways, leaving the once vivacious gym quiet, only a few scattered parents were left watching the girls’ game that followed. That was the moment Brittany Ethington, Girls’ Varsity Swim Coach, and other athletic coaches, knew that something needed to change, she said.

At the end of the 2022-2023 school year, Ethington worked with Head Softball Coach Dana Boehmer and several other coaches to start Women Support Women, a program that encourages Titan female athletes to attend each other’s games. The program kicked off last year on May 11 when the swim team attended the softball team’s game, Ethington said. 

“We have always had lower attendance in the stands at our meets,” Ethington said. “It’s typically just family members and a few friends in the stands. Creating awareness of big games and meets and having other teams support one another is a great way to show school spirit within GBS athletics.”

Girls’ Varsity Volleyball Coach Kelly Dorn worked with Ethington to troubleshoot the logistics of attending each other’s events. The girls’ volleyball team attended the girls’ swim and dive home meet on Sept. 22 against Deerfield. The girls’ swim team in return attended the varsity volleyball game on Oct. 4 against New Trier, Ethington said.

“All of the swim girls loved seeing the volleyball girls up in the stands,” Ethington said. “It helped bring more energy to our meets.” 

They do not plan on stopping there. The three coaches have talked to Girls’ Junior Varsity Tennis Coach Phil Ralston about getting tennis involved in the program and hope it will eventually be schoolwide, Dorn explained. 

 As the Women Support Women program helps bring crowds to the events, it also improves the athletic performance of the players, Ethington said. The enthusiasm from the crowds enabled several swimmers to set new personal records, Ethington said.

 Varsity swimmer, junior Hayden O’Sullivan, is used to the stands being scarce at her meets. Seeing them packed was a nice change and even encouraged her to put forth her best effort, O’Sullivan said.

“We don’t have a lot of people come out and watch us swim, and so when they come it gives me a lot of motivation to go faster.” O’Sullivan said.

In return, visiting the girl’s volleyball game was an unexpected but pleasant experience, O’Sullivan said. 

“When we got to watch them play volleyball, it was a lot of fun,” O’Sullivan said. “It’s not something that I’d normally do, but I really enjoyed it and I’d like to continue to support the girls’ volleyball team.” 

Not only was the event supportive for the athletes competing, but it was also fun for the athletes in the stands, O’Sullivan said. The game was enhanced by music echoing through the dome and cheers from the crowd.

“The event was fun and the environment was very loud,” O’Sullivan said. “There was a lot of music playing in between the breaks and everyone was pumped up.” 

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