As journalists devoted to bringing campus news to you, we are at many sports game. Whether we are photographing, broadcasting or keeping score, sometimes we are simply one face in rows and rows of screaming fans, and sometimes we are the only ones there, save for a few parents or family members. Either way, we can tell you firsthand, covering games is one of the parts of our job we love most.
Recent discussions on the Fanatics Facebook page have made it obvious that turnout at games is far from equal, whether across gender lines or different types of sports. While the Fanatics have promised to continue to make an effort to increase game attendance for all teams, it is also a community movement we all can and should support.
It’s understandable that some sports may simply be more popular than others, but it is a problem that so many teams, and girls’ sports especially, often feel ignored. Most of the time, attendance is not necessarily a matter of how fast-paced or thrilling the sport is but of how well the game has been publicized.
Understandably, a basketball game in Taper on a Friday night naturally might draw a larger crowd than a field hockey match at 3 p.m. on a Tuesday in Glendora.
However, in an ideal world and in the spirit of equality, all games should be advertised, and the community should be informed so the decision to not go to a game is not due to lack of knowledge. If all sports are given equal attention and coverage, then our community will be more aware about sports that are less often in the spotlight.
The Fanatics are responsible for publicizing all games, but it is also on fans and members of the Harvard-Westlake community to get there and support each and every one of our classmates.
Anyone who plays sports knows that fans can make a tangible difference in team performance, boosting morale in tough situations and helping team members get that last push of energy to finish strong. Ultimately, it comes down to more than rivalries, winning or courtside chants.
Sports culture at Harvard-Westlake is something so many of us share, defining us beyond grades or college acceptances, because it is what so many of us love to devote our time to. Most of all, it is meant to bring us together as a team and as a school. We know how unifying a game can be with the right energy, hype and crowd, and we should work to achieve that energy at every game, from Taper Gym to O’Malley Field.
For many of us seniors, Head Fanatics and fans included, we only have a few short months left to make memories as the Class of 2016. And the stage we set at swim meets and tennis matches, as well as at all the wild games with our varsity basketball team, will challenge underclassmen to rise to our level long after we are gone.
Looking back on high school, chances are we will not remember calculus and world history as much as the times we spent together, no matter if we won or lost. Each game is an oppotunity to grow closer as a community.
As the season comes to a close, we are shifting seasons from winter sports, like soccer and basketball, to spring sports, like tennis and softball, and we hope to see you all there, cheering from the stands and supporting our community.