Superfans seating policy upsets student spectators

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Superfans seating policy upsets student spectators

The Stillwater student section supports the football team at a home game against Roseville; Stillwater won 24-11. This was Stillwater's first victory of the year. Fans cheer loud in the stands.  Student spectators are no longer able to cheer from the front row of the student section.

The Stillwater student section supports the football team at a home game against Roseville; Stillwater won 24-11. This was Stillwater's first victory of the year. Fans cheer loud in the stands. Student spectators are no longer able to cheer from the front row of the student section.

Photo by Rosie Nichols

The Stillwater student section supports the football team at a home game against Roseville; Stillwater won 24-11. This was Stillwater's first victory of the year. Fans cheer loud in the stands. Student spectators are no longer able to cheer from the front row of the student section.

Photo by Rosie Nichols

Photo by Rosie Nichols

The Stillwater student section supports the football team at a home game against Roseville; Stillwater won 24-11. This was Stillwater's first victory of the year. Fans cheer loud in the stands. Student spectators are no longer able to cheer from the front row of the student section.

By Rosie Nichols, Stillwater Area High School

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Football games have not been the same since the drama regarding seating began. The “Friday night lights” used to have more excitement, but the energy has turned in a negative direction. Fingers are being pointed, but nothing is being done. Who would have known where student spectators stand is worth so much disagreement and immaturity? It is a toxic issue that will remain detrimental to football game enjoyment until it gets resolved.

The home opener football game is notorious for being the first social event for students and community members after ripping off the summer bandaid. This game, on August 29, started off with tension. Superfans were told to attend games of all kinds and lead cheers and chants for the student section. What superfans have not been told to do in the past is regulate seating arrangements. Fans are upset over the new authority.

“We should not spend our senior year bickering over a fence when we are supposed to be cheering together to support our team. I also think anybody is allowed to stand at the fence and there should not be regulations because of how absurd the situation is,” senior Lyxie Moosai said.

The 12 superfans are in charge of creating a safe and exciting atmosphere at sporting events. They are told to lead the student section in cheers and chants to support the team. What superfans are not in charge of is assigning seating regulations and creating an unwelcoming atmosphere. With or without malintentions, fans are speaking up for where they believe they should be based on seniority and dedication to the game.

One aspect of this issue has been taking part over social media and in a group chat containing all of the superfans.

“There is a lot of [bad] posting back and forth over social media. It is all dumb and very unnecessary,” senior superfan Logan Mccormick said.

The consistent justification behind the unwanted seating arrangement revolves around the superfan’s belief that they should be guaranteed the front row for all football games, regardless of whether or not they get there first. This contradicts past years where the front row runs off of a strict seniority and first come first serve basis. That worked out perfectly fine for most everyone.

“I think the superfans have a point and there should be superfans in the front. However, I don’t think all 12 of them need to be there. Maybe just two or three every game and they can switch off and let all other spots be first come first serve,” Moosai said.

Superfans should be at the front of the student section, that is where seniors stand regardless of their “superfan rights.” Forcing fans out of the front row after they clearly got there first is immature. Any teenager on the brink of being an adult should be able to support the team and call cheers with just as much school spirit two feet from the front row.

This “seating drama” has sparked superfans to respond with a new policy approved by Activities Director Ricky Michel. This new policy requires all superfans are guaranteed spots at the front of the student section regardless of first come first serve.

“There has been mosh pits and kids have gotten hurt. There needs to be a walkway for other people watching the sports game,” senior superfan Ashlynn O’Connor said.

This policy also states, “There is only one row of people (At the front of the beachers) to avoid blocking the walkway for safety purposes.”

It rare for someone to get hurt in the “pit” of the student section. Even in the case of injury, it has never sparked such a controversial policy to be implemented.

Some superfans support and even contributed to the creation of the new seating policy, because of safety concerns and to prove their role of authority within the student section. This does not account for all superfans; some chose to take sides with the skeptical fan base. The fans that do not agree with the new seating arrangement. A few superfans have gone as far to say they feel the new policy is “dumb” and “stupid”.

“It should just be the superfans doing cheers and whatever else to make it run smoothly,” McCormick said.

The superfans and other spectators who approve of this new seating policy have stated that it is strictly set to regulate injury and student section traffic. Regardless of the remaining student’s opinions, they will stand strong with these new rules.

The issue has been spread around the school, but more specifically, the senior class. This new policy is pushing people apart other than bringing them together, as intended. If a meet-halfway resolution can be made, the remainder of the school year could proceed with ease; both sides of the issue would be satisfied with their space to support the team.

This story was originally published on The Pony Express on September 12, 2019.