Student Section Attendance Increases With the Help of Student Leaders


Credit: Williston Flickr

Williston’s school pride has grown within the last year, with more energy and attendance in student sections since the fall.
In an all-school assembly on Jan. 3, student council members presented an initiative to find ways to pep up the student sections at games. Since then, there has been more Williston pride displayed at games.
Williston students have always supported each other on the court, field, pool, and ice. At some events there have been crowds, at others there have not been as much of a crowd. More times than not, the turnout has been low. Seniors have been eager to grow attendance at athletic events to show their support for Williston teams.
Four-year senior boarder Izzy Ireland thinks the student section made a huge difference in the fall.
“I don’t think I have missed a varsity home game this year for any sport. I absolutely love participating in the student sections,” she said. “Especially when I’m watching my friends play. I can barely stay seated when I see my friends on the ice, court, or in the pool. It’s always such a blast cheering everyone on.”
Izzy recounts a time where the crowd motivated her volleyball team in the fall
“In the fall, we lost to Berkshire the first time we played them away 3-1. It was a great game, but it was so quiet because we didn’t have our peers cheering us on,” she said. “When we played them at home a few weeks later for our ‘dig pink’ game, our bleachers were filled with students in pink, and we got back at Berkshire with a 3-1 win.”
Senior Kaitlyn Williams thinks support shown at games has positive effects.
“I think it’s important to have a good student section because you can really see the difference in performance when you have people supporting you,” Kaitlyn said.
Izzy also thinks game times make a difference when it comes to getting fans to the game.
“The student sections have gotten way better since the fall,” she said. “For some reason, I feel like the schedule this winter has not had a ton of overlap with games so more people can attend which has been really fun.”
Some student-athletes at Williston do not think the presence of a student section impacts their performance, while others find motivation when they have fans in attendance.
English teacher and Field and Ice Hockey coach, Alex Tancrell-Fontaine, thinks that the student section was impactful for Girls Hockey during their post-season success.
“I am always drawn back to the championship game,” she said. “The student section provided so much energy to our team. They were so positive and encouraging; it fueled the team during the game.”
Tancrell-Fontaine also thinks overlapping events for Williston teams can contribute to the outcome of attendance in the student section.
“Maybe these [scheduling conflicts] are something we as a school need to look at in order to gain more engagement and encouragement from students to support one another,” she said.
Senior Class President Will Chalfant thinks some people are hesitant to participate if no one else is participating.
“I feel like the energy has been lifted this past week, but the student section really hasn’t been the same since 2019 [freshman year],” he said. “I think the lack of energy comes from people thinking they will be judged for cheering for their school and will only join in if everyone is doing it.”
One of the student council initiatives implemented is the addition of Student Section Leaders. These leaders are seniors who display enthusiastic and energetic Williston pride at events. They promise to get the crowds active at games by leading cheers and promoting themes at the competitions.
When watching your next athletic event, keep the words of President Will Chalfant in mind: “We have too many sheep and not enough sheepdogs.” Be the sheepdog.