The Strength of the Wolf is the Pack: How Important is a Student Section Anyways?
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A&M University won eight of twelve games during their regular 2014 season, taking them to the Autozone Liberty Bowl where they beat West Virginia by eight points. These Aggies won each game by an average of 25 points. Two of their losses were extremely close games, being defeated by only one touchdown. One was within 17 points and the outlier was when they were slaughtered on Alabama turf (50-0).
Now, let’s take a break from the standings to look at the people standing.
College Football Fan Index (CFFI) is a cumulative data-based ranking of America’s most engaged fan bases in 2014. They voted Texas A&M Aggies as the number one student section in college football. A definite factor in the Aggies ability to perform so well comes from the fan support they receive.
When researching what made this crowd the best, CFFI reported that, “Five Aggie Yell Leaders (have been appointed), each of whom is elected by the student body. The position is practically a full-time job. Every year, Yell Leaders attend hundreds of events, at which they serve as Texas A&M’s most vocal ambassadors. They also attend all home (athletic games.) The Yell Leaders don’t just yell; they serve as the student section’s conductors.” Kyle Field, the head yell leader, was chosen because his cries are deafening.
A student section is defined as, “A group of student fans that supports its school’s athletic teams at sporting events; they are known for being one of the most visible and vocal sections of a sports crowd as well as for their occasionally raucous behavior.” How important is your voice? Kohen Castenada responded, “Sometimes at games I’ll hear this: ‘Why should we even cheer, we’re losing.’ That gets me so spiced up! As a student section we shouldn’t be cheering because we’re winning, we should be cheering to send a message to our team and to the opposing team that we are the SILVERWOLVES, we couldn’t be prouder! Nothing can change that, so if you’re not cheering I encourage you to start! It’ll change your whole experience. If you’re not even going to the games….GET GOING! You’re missing out on one of the best experience of high school. I know you won’t regret it!”
It’s pretty clear that, “Texas A&M’s students take their job seriously. They have for a long time. The 12th Man has been around for nearly a century. This tradition originated in 1922 when Texas A&M played Centre College. “The Aggies suffered so many injuries in the first half that Coach Dana X. Bible had only eleven players (editor’s note: for those who don’t speak football, eleven players must be on the field at all times or the team penalized) Coach Bible called Gill out of the stands to suit up and stand ready to play if needed. Although Gill didn’t play, he was the last man — the 12th man — standing on the sideline. He later said, ‘I simply stood by in case my team needed me.’ The Aggies won, and since that time, Aggies stand ready and willing to support their team to the point of actually entering the game.”
How important is this support to our Riverton High athletes? Brinley King feels that, “It’s important for us, as the volleyball team specifically, to have a student section to cheer for us because we thrive off of the noise and the cheering. It always pumps us up to see our student section there and it pushes us to do our very best to give the fans a good game. It’s so rewarding when there’s students cheering for us and it makes us as a team work harder and work together to make our student section proud. Having a big and loud student section not only helps us but it also displays our schools support and our school spirit as we encourage and cheer on all of our awesome teams and clubs.”
The student section can be used as an advantage both at our home stadium and away games. When asked his opinion, McKay Nelson said, “It is so important to have a lot of students in our student section! First, it affects the other team, they often get intimidated or frazzled. This helps our team, as well as our athletes are pumped up and excited when we are cheering them on, helping them perform better once again. Finally, the more students in our crowd, the more fun it will be and we want the best experience for everyone! So come support your Riverton High athletics in the student section!”
If these responses don’t get you pumped up I don’t know what will. Silverwolves, let’s take this knowledge and apply it to our home team. We’re saving you a seat on the bleachers because you are the 12th man Riverton needs. Let me say it loud for the people in the back, the strength of the wolf is the pack!