No excuse not to support girl’s sports

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No excuse not to support girl’s sports

Junior Esther Byington attacks the hoop and puts it off the glass. Not many students were there to witness this great play by the junior.

Junior Esther Byington attacks the hoop and puts it off the glass. Not many students were there to witness this great play by the junior.

Ryan Tongue

Junior Esther Byington attacks the hoop and puts it off the glass. Not many students were there to witness this great play by the junior.

Ryan Tongue

Ryan Tongue

Junior Esther Byington attacks the hoop and puts it off the glass. Not many students were there to witness this great play by the junior.

Ashton Voorhees, Reporter

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It’s the chilly January Friday of first semester’s dreaded exam week. Grand Haven students rejoice over a weekend with no homework–a rarity for high schoolers. The excitement turns to the doubleheader of varsity basketball games against conference foe Caledonia. It will be like every other conference doubleheader — girls varsity first, and the boys following shortly after. I’m ready to go.

I arrive at the gym around six, looking around for my friends and fellow classmates to talk to before the start of the girls basketball game. I cover girls basketball as a part of the Bucs’ Blade sports team and regularly attend, so it doesn’t come as a surprise that as usual, they aren’t there yet. At this point, I know the drill. The student section for the girls consists of only two rows of detached friend groups. I don’t know any of them; they’re all seniors, showing their last flex of school spirit. On this Friday night, I would estimate roughly 12 people were in the high school student section at the tip-off of the girls game.

There’s no excuse for this.

Kids were not at home racking their brains on homework, unable to make the first game. It was the end of exam week, there was no homework for teachers to assign. I’m sure there were reasons that students couldn’t come to the girls game that were completely understandable, this is not a blame game. But I couldn’t feel anything but embarrassment when as the Lady Bucs fought back in the fourth quarter against Caledonia, with nothing to support them but silent students piling into the gym ahead of the boys game. It was a complete slap in the face to their efforts, completely disrespectful.

The two rows quickly turned to a full student section as the fourth quarter wound down, and I asked myself: why can’t the student body stand up and support the girl’s teams as much as we show our passion for the boys?

I understand that not everybody is a sports fanatic who likes to watch every second of the action. But when you show up at the end of the girls game, just to watch the boys version of the same exact sport, it starts to show that it’s not about the sport itself that the student sections of girls games are so barren.

The reason doesn’t matter to me. It could be because of a perception that girls sports aren’t as physical and exciting.  Maybe it’s because some fans only go to socialize.  I don’t care.  It’s all the same to me. The girls teams put as much time in to their sport as the boys, and it’s flat out disrespectful that their friends and fellow classmates walk in at the tail end of their game just to watch the boys.

So this is what I propose. If you’re going to support at all, you should support right and cheer for the girls just as much as the boys. They put in so much effort; all of the exact same time that boys teams do and see that all of the student section regulars care about the boys teams and not them.

If you think girls sports are boring, watch a little more intently, actually pay attention and you’ll be surprised at what you see. If you’re there to socialize, even better. Grab a couple friends and arrive for girls games for roughly twice of the socializing time. It’s time to stop making excuses and cheer on the girls that play the same sports, put in the same amount of time and effort and have the same passion that the boys do that receives quadruple the support.

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