OUR TAKE: School spirit stops at Friday Night Lights

Empty basketball and soccer stands kills any home court advantage


Morgan Cleary

Tatyanna Clayburne drives past a Mountain Pointe defender during a recent varsity basketball game. While there are no official attendance records kept, the MPHS side of the gym appeared to have more spectators than the Pumas – the home team – did.

Friday night lights is something almost every high school student has experienced.

The over crowded stands packed to the brim, bright lights and a hard working group of boys playing their hearts out.

This year especially was an astounding year for Perry football. Making it to the state game and placing second after a close game is something Perry has never seen before. Our school shows nothing but pride and school spirit for our boys. But there may be a slight issue.

Perry High School seems to be about school spirit, but after doing a little digging the question that many may not be able to answer comes up:

Does the school have spirit or does the school have spirit for Friday Night Lights?

Of course, this is in no way trying to insult or take away from the amazing job the student section did for football in 2017, but it seems like none of the other many teams are appreciated as much.

Don’t believe me? Look in the bleachers for a basketball or soccer game. Ask yourself how many other games you have been to that are not varsity football. Badminton won a state title and volleyball made it to the Final Four.

If PHS is truly a football-crazed school, where are the football fans at basketball games, where three members of the football team play on the hardwood. For that matter, where are the football players who are not in a winter sport? Why aren’t they leading the student section?

Last night the No. 15 boys basketball team hosted top-ranked Brophy; the all-boys college prep school out-drew Puma Nation…in its own gym!

After a recent game, a visiting basketball coach said: “[Perry] was the worst gym atmosphere I’ve ever coached in.”

Let that sink in for a minute. Not a bad atmosphere…the worst.

Players play for the love of the game, the love of the competition and the love of their school, but what message does it send our athletes when a downtown, all-boys prep school with an enrollment of only 1,200 students out-draws “Puma Nation” – complete with its 3,600 students – in Perry’s gym. Where are the students? Where is the Perry Hype Squad who Tweets themes for football games but neglects the other sports?

It’s time for our school to show more support for the other teams who work just as hard. The other student athletes who spend their entire day at school and then hours at practice deserve just as much support and cheer as the more popular sports do.