The School Newspaper of Winston Churchill High School.

The Observer

The School Newspaper of Winston Churchill High School.

The Observer

The School Newspaper of Winston Churchill High School.

The Observer

Students relocated: WCHS’ new student section

Photo by Lily Chadwick
The WCHS home football game on September 22nd was complete with an astonishing sunset. Many students in the student section took out their phons to snap a picture of the moment.

Spirited fans, players in eye-catching royal blue jerseys and a bustling concession stand. These are a few aspects of WCHS football games that are staying the same this season. However, there is one surprising change that students may have already noticed if they have attended any of the home football games: the student section has been moved from in between the parent section and marching band to further down the field, closer to the scoreboard.

The student section is an essential part of the environment at WCHS football games because it fosters a social environment for students where they are able to cheer their loudest and hype up the players on the field. This is where students are all decked out in one theme to support the Bulldogs, reflecting its role as the center of student spirit. Depending on the week, students may be dressed head to toe in black or covered in red, white and blue.

“The main reason [for this change] was crowd control and [to provide] the best experience for everyone,” WCHS Athletic Director Jesse Smith said. “The student section was spilling into the parents section and causing issues. It was also blocking the path for the band and causing a bottleneck in front of the press box.”

Parents were understandably not big fans of being squished close to the chaos of the student section; it can be overwhelming to have 75 sweaty highschool students spilling out of their designated area. This change is a win-win because it does not limit spirit while also enhancing the safety and enjoyment for other spectators of the game.

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“I don’t have very many thoughts on the student section being moved down,” WCHS sophomore Zoe Cusack said. “I don’t pay much attention to the game so it doesn’t affect my view of the game. However, I do think it is more beneficial to the parents who now don’t have to be smushed by the overflowing student section.”

Additionally, the new student section gives students the opportunity to spread out more and lean against the fence to watch the game, which had not been an option in previous years. This new arrangement provides more space for students and improves both their enjoyment and safety.

“I think it impacted last Friday’s game by giving more room for fellow Bulldogs to come and watch the game,” Cusack said. “The new student section is bigger, which allows for more students to comfortably fit in the bleachers.”

Decisions like this are made as a joint effort between the athletic department, administration and security team. There are many factors to be considered when making these types of changes to ensure that everyone is satisfied and most importantly, that safety standards are maintained.

“I look at everything we do each year and try to see if there is a better way of doing things,” Smith said. “This was a move I worked [on] with Mr. Taylor this past summer and we decided to try it out for the fall. Our security and administration teams loved it and the students had as much fun and were as spirited as they always are.”

The first Friday night home game against Quince Orchard proved that the student experience was only improved, and Mr. Smith is still continuously looking for new ways to boost WCHS spirit.

“I really want our student section to do a better job in working with our cheerleaders,” Smith said. “My hope is to have our cheerleaders get involved with the student section more at football and basketball games but we need the student section to be receptive to this and participate with the cheerleaders.”

As long as students keep showing up to the games ready to cheer on the Bulldogs and be safe, this football season is on track to be a huge success. Students who have ideas and feedback to increase spirit are welcome to work together with the athletic department to create an even stronger WCHS community.

“Students can add more spirit to the games by dressing more in theme and putting face paint related to the theme on their face,” Cusack said. “Three words I would use to describe the student section would be loud, proud and exciting.”

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About the Contributor
Lily Chadwick
Lily Chadwick, Photo Manager & Assistant Sports Editor
Lily Chadwick is a sophomore and the Photo Manager of the Observer. This is her second year taking journalism and she is looking forward to bettering her writing while also meeting new people. In her free time, she enjoys swimming, field hockey, going to the beach, and spending time with family & friends.

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