Roaring Crowds to Empty Seats: The Difference Between Student Sections


Hours apart: the student section growing from nothing as the boys team plays on the court.

As the game-winning shot goes in, or the star player makes an eighty-yard run down the football field, the crowd goes wild from the stands. The student sections are filled with kids cheering on their classmates. But is that always the case? Could the only sound in the room be the faint claps from parents in the nearly empty stands? That would unfortunately be the case in many of the Chelsea High School girls sporting events. 

“Not many people show up to our games,” sophomore basketball player Avery Lay said. “If anyone does come to our games, they sit at the top of the student section and only one row is filled.”

With only a handful of the student body showing up to support their team, it’s hard for there to be much of an atmosphere at their games. 

“It’s definitely very quiet,” Lay said. “I would love to have more support than just parents or older citizens.”

The student section is a big part of high school sporting events that everyone loves. At the Chelsea boys basketball games, the atmosphere is quite different from the deafening silence seen at girls’ games. 

“I love having support from our classmates,” senior starter Matt Blanton said. “The crowd definitely lifts me up during the game, especially on the nights that we are playing well as a team.”

Having a student section to offer support and energy can help boost a team’s morale, creating a vast difference between girls and boys sports.

“I would definitely love to have as much support as the boys games,” Lay said. “The bleachers are filled to the brim some nights, especially on rivalry games.”

Connections between the crowd and the players are moments that add energy and community to a match. Whether it’s calling out players’ names, holding up signs, or cheering for the players when they get fouled, the connections between the section and the athletes always make the crowd and team on the court smile. 

“The student section is one of the highlights of the game,” Blanton said. “When the student section hypes us up, you know it’s going to be a good game.”

Though the boys may be appreciative of the support they receive from their classmates, they still pay attention to the lady Bulldogs’ shortage of student support.

“The girls team is just as talented as us,” Blanton said. “Them not getting support is just unfair.”

Student sections between girls and boys games aren’t just a problem between the basketball teams. Overall, there is one team at CHS that gets more community and student support than any other: the Chelsea football team.

“The size of the student section is great,” junior football and basketball player Regan Plank said. “The student section really showed up this past year.”

The football student section is something that all high schoolers should experience. It includes themes every Friday, chants from the cheerleaders, and rushing the field with the players to celebrate a big win. This mass of overwhelming support is great for the football team but leaves other fall sports with slim pickings when it comes to spectators.

The Chelsea field hockey team also plays at the football stadium multiple nights a week, but their student sections look slightly different.

“The games are definitely very quiet,” senior Laney Smith said. “It’s mostly just parents or significant others of the players.”

The reasoning behind the drastic differences in the student sections is a question that still lingers for students at CHS. 

“The other sports teams at CHS deserve support,” Plank said. “There are very talented teams with very little attendance.”

Talented teams across the school all perform to their very best, regardless of the support from students or lack thereof. The link between support and the type of sport along with gender is undeniable and has caught the attention of many athletes at Chelsea High School. Support from the student body is always appreciated by the athletes and the spectators of the games, and students are encouraged to step out of the norm and try watching something new. 

“I would love to have more support at games,” Smith said. “Even though field hockey is a different sport, I think a lot of our classmates would enjoy it!”