Antlers unite to support the football team at their 2021 homecoming game. Antlers won 23-21 against Blair. Thursday, September 16. (Mason Beister)
Antlers unite to support the football team at their 2021 homecoming game. Antlers won 23-21 against Blair. Thursday, September 16.

Mason Beister

Chase and Jake: The Tuesday Take 9/28

Chase and Jake discuss the best student sections and the criteria to be so.

September 28, 2021

The Best In The State
 
Chase: This is usually a title acclaimed by oneself (that being in a school’s student section). Is there really a school that takes the crown of this wanted title? Well, it is an “arguable” matter according to a North Howler report. A senior at Elkhorn North High School, to paraphrase, stated they have arguably the best student section in Nebraska. It’s good that “arguablywas incorporated into the quote because it brings in uncertainty. In the case of Elkhorn North, it is an argument to be lost by a rather larger student section. ESPN even had something to say about one school, Millard West, in a Twitter post with the caption: “This student section is HYPE.” The “Wildcat Crazies” of Millard West High School made so much noise they got on ESPN. Granted, they are Class A, which gives them attendance advantages, but they bring in full-on participation from all classes. Elkhorn Stadium had composed the largest crowd at the Elkhorn vs Elkhorn South football game in 2019 and it didn’t seem that it could ever reach that point again. The Crazies would shatter this capacity with ease, filling half the relatively new away end with hundreds of white-out students during week one. Everything was in sync, baby powder would fly everywhere, and some would have to stand to the side because room for seating was scarce. These “Crazies” make the “EHS Paintcrew”, “ENHS Wolf Pack”, and “ESHS Storm Cell” look like small-town communities.
 
Jake: I am in 100% agreement with the undeniable fact that the Elkhorn North student section is not the best in the state. The best student section is characterized by consistently showing up to events, having a large number of students in attendance, and being obnoxiously loud in support of both your team while showing sportsmanship to the other team. Elkhorn North does not show up for events that they will not win; during Elkhorn North vs Norris, there were maybe four rows of fans. The wolf pack are win hungry supporters who do not support their teams and only wish for the downfall of Elkhorn. I do not know of a nickname for the Elkhorn high student section, but they are very similar except there is very little consistent support for any team other than football. Fall sports alone, volleyball and softball are ignored unless volleyball is playing north or in a big playoff game. I have never seen a student section at probably the 15 softball games I have been to, whether it is a senior night, district game, or a game against Elkhorn North. Elkhorn simply lacks consistent support for sports other than football. Elkhorn South has the best student section in Elkhorn because they show up for events and actually have good themes (hint hint pep club). The best student section is whichever team is playing a rivalry, no student section is without their flaws
 
I personally like Ralston’s student section because they know they are going to lose but they still show up and are respectful.
 
Is There a Lack of Support Amongst the School for its Events?
 
Chase: Plenty like to bash other rival or neighboring schools on who does not exactly have the best turn out. Most schools are victims of these verbose claims, but does this mean they are lackluster in overall support? Probably not. First of all, there’s travel. Whether a person’s criteria of support is based on away travel or not, no one should expect a storm of students rolling into Beatrice after an hour and a half drive from the metro. People have lives beyond their school, and gas prices exist as well (which plays a more prevalent role than someone may think). So when thinking of the Antlers, there is anything but a lack of support. There is more wiggle room for improvement though, which begs the question: why are there some not present? The thought didn’t take long to develop, and it’s rather quite simple: phones. The least engaged students in a section come with their best friend: an electronic handheld device (“I guess my lifelong ‘friend’ Timmy was there too”). And to those who like them so much, they would think, ‘Why should I go out and stand when I can just sit at home?’ Attending a student section was once a pastime for all, and now it only qualifies for certain individuals who are willing to get out there.
 
Jake: Away student sections are pitiful. JV and Freshman student sections are pitiful. Any game where it is not a state playoff game or a home football game is pitiful. It is simply pitiful. It would be hypocritical for me to state this claim and not express that I fall victim to choosing a home south football game over an away Elkhorn game. Choosing to not make an hour or more roundtrip to watch a game for football, basketball, volleyball, etc. People have lives. I do not blame anyone for a lack of support amongst the school body for its events. While it is fun to be a part of a student section, it’s also fun to not fail math and unfortunately, that takes precedence over going to a game.
 
What Is a Necessity To a Student Section?
 
Chase: First off there has to be some form of originality. If this doesn’t exist within their practices, a student might as well stay home. Second, you absolutely must have the correct seniors for leading and engaging. Seniors who just follow along in a melancholy manner will never get their student section anywhere they would ever want it to be. The final thing (and it may instill a hesitant reaction), is making it a hectic environment. In the beautiful world of Twitter, you can find student sections that jump to the point at which the structural engineering of their bleachers is questioned. Some will create some sort of commotion by means of baby powder (like the “Crazies”), which will stench your clothes with its odor until you get home. And a little “Go Bananas” within the crowd will form the perfect riot of jumping and yelling that will lose its balance as people fall down and trip over one another (The perfect fuel to a claustrophobic’s nightmare).
 
Jake: A good student section is not baby powder, getting shoved over, it is not breaking a set of bleachers like South did like 4 or 5 years back. A student section needs to have people. I say that with a hint of disrespect towards morons. A student section could have row after row after row filled to the brim with enthusiastic students, but if people are yelling randomly, messing up chants, or getting into fights that ruin the game. I came to watch the game with my best friends beside me and yell simplistic nonsense at refs, players, and the other student section. To do that, seniors have to lead and help the underclassman understand when to start, stop, and what to say. I dislike babysitting as much as the next person, so freshmen especially need to understand what to do. A great student section needs support from all grades, a fun atmosphere, and a good game, because it is not fun watching the Antlers beat the Wolves 41-14.

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