For those of you who cant make it out to volleyball games, youre missing out.
The teams are doing great. St. Helens is ranked second in the state for Class 5A, and Scappoose has gotten off to a strong start as well, but some of the best entertainment is off the court.
Thats not to say the game isnt captivating, but Ive got to hand it to the students: you guys are incredible. High school students have a reputation for being rowdy. Bolstered by student athletes on their nights off, both Scappoose and St. Helens have had fantastic turnouts for many of their home matches, and the students who show up are wild from start to finish.
Both schools had white-outs. St. Helens featured a hick-night and a tie-dye themed game. The Tribe student section had an entertaining back-and-fourth competition with the visiting Central fans, and the Lions students chant a different set of words for each time their team touches the ball. When the team is facing a match point, the students are facing the wall for luck.
I think thats great. In fact, I wish it would happen more often. At my high school, the section was organized by one of the teachers who had to offer pizza or free t-shirts to get students to participate. At both schools, its the students themselves who come out to support their schoolmates.
At St. Helens, its easy to see why the students love it. Starting lineups are exciting; the lights come down, the spotlight comes up and each starter is announced to blaring music. Scappoose, too, has an excellent environment, and the students make it that much stronger.
Then you turn your eyes from the student section to the rest of the bleachers. Thats where the parents and grandparents sit, and its quiet. Sure, when something huge happens the non-students make some noise, but theyre mice in comparison.
Now, you all know the fan that stands up the whole game, has painted his face with his kids number and yells until his voice is hoarse. Hes on the officials about every call, and leaves the gym in a huff if the team loses. Im not saying the casual fans should be that guy. In fact, please dont. But what you can do is cheer with the kids when they start yelling D-FENSE or give a good, hearty yell when the home team serves.
In this case, I think the students are in the right. Theyre young and energetic, but I think they get a lot more out of the game than anybody else. Maybe its the ripped up camouflage jacket. Maybe its standing up and shouting in support of the home team. Maybe its waving a broom as the game enters the third set with a 2-0 lead.
Whatever tickles your fancy, dont be afraid to let loose a little and simply be a fan for a little while. Even if you lose your voice, it makes for a good story the next day at work.