Opinion: We Need to Revive Our Student Section


[Editor’s Note: This is an opinion piece, and does not necessarily reflect the views of the entire Willistonian staff.]
The consistently underwhelming student section at Williston football games needs to be changed.
The team, described as “having remarkable stability,” has only had three coaches since 1958, including Mark Conroy and current Head Coach Thomas Beaton. In addition to consistency, multiple players each year commit to play Division 1 football in college, which to many is the opportunity of a lifetime. The confident and proud history of the team is apparent, yet the student section leaves a lot to be desired.
Saturday night football games, in traditional high-school fashion, are made out to be exciting, fun, and most importantly, loud, but the Williston student section has a history of being anything but. With the exception of homecoming, the students are unusually quiet at games, making a sad first impression for many new or international students who have never seen a high-school football game before.
Katya Krasnovskaya, a new junior from Moscow, Russia, says she was very disappointed the student section did not live up to her expectations of American football culture.
“I was super excited to see the first game, which I found super fun,” Katya said. “That made me want to go to football games even more because I have never experienced them before; it was completely new to me. The second game though, I was so disappointed and sad because everyone was sitting down and not nearly as loud as the first game.”
Williston’s homecoming, a traditional white-out, started a few years ago, and generally brings in a large crowd; there’s a theme and almost the whole school shows up. Home games after that though tend to decrease in both attendance and volume. While Williston is smaller than a typical public school, the reputation of the student section as boring, confirmed by many students The Willistonian spoke to, drives many to stay in their room on a Saturday night rather than go to the game.
Thomas Beaton, Head Coach of Varsity Football team, had a few ideas to make the games more upbeat.
“I love the idea of themes,” Beaton said. “I think for not just football but for all the sports, one of the best activities we can have on a Friday or Saturday night is getting everyone out of their dorms and at the games supporting each other. Getting the food truck and the Wildcat costume back always makes for an exciting time.”
Teagan Duffy, a junior from Yarmouth, Maine, had some great ideas for upgrading our celebrations.
“I think it would be cool if we had a Wildcat roar or a horn going off when we score,” Teagan said. “We need something to be louder.”
Since Williston is a home for not just students internationally but around the country, some kids from Southern states such as Texas or Tennessee already have a picture of games under the lights that are significantly more thrilling than small private school games.
Jackson Miller, a sophomore from Nashville, Tennessee, compares games from back home to his experiences with Williston sports.
“My old school, Montgomery Bell Academy, was a similar size to Williston but it was all boys,” Jackson said. “With that being said, everyone showed up to all of the games and even people from the surrounding schools would meet at our lower fields.”
Jackson recounted some crazy things that happened at his old student section.
“Our whole student section would be painted red,” he said. “The football student section here is much more mellow and seems unexcited.”