Student sections: Gearing up for a season in the stands

Student sections: Gearing up for a season in the stands


Student sections: Gearing up for a season in the stands


The first football Friday of the season is right around the corner and throughout the area high school students are getting ready to don the uniform and put an offseason of preparation to work.

But in some cases, the uniform is a T-shirt and the preparation includes scheduling white-outs and researching cheers.

With each high school football game comes a student section, and while they don’t have the on-field impact that their classmates in pads do, their presence is felt. Just as the captains must lead the football team, most student sections also look to a designated group of leaders to make sure things go smoothly each Friday night.

“I just love sports and like getting in there and being really loud and obnoxious and having a good time,” Dylan Underwood said. “We put a lot of work into.”

A senior at Liberty Union, Underwood is running the Lions’ student section this season after helping out with his classmate Brandon Compton, now a member of the football team, a year ago.

While others in attendance may just see a loud and obnoxious group of high school students, they may not realize the work that goes into what Compton and Underwood think is the best student section in the area.

The pair estimated they put $300 to $500 of their own money into the section last year buying props and signs for theme nights, from superhero night to beach night to black outs. For the section’s white out night last season Compton and Underwood bought the entire supply of baby powder from Target.

While the Lions think they have the best section in the area, they are certainly not without competition.

Nick Bosser, Marin Velasquez and Cara Carpenter have taken over the Lancaster student section this season. Though Bosser and Velasquez are busy with cross country and volleyball, respectively, they are more than happy to find time to help out the Fulton Fanatics.

“All three of us have a lot of friends who play football,” Velasquez said. “I think it’s fun to support other teams because I like when people come to watch us. It’s a social thing, all of our friends come.”

The three Gales supporters agreed that last year was a bit of a down year for the student section and they plan to reverse that this season with more organization. They plan on getting a schedule of themes set early in the season and Bosser in particular has been researching chants, citing the Columbus Crew website as a source of inspiration, and finding a Gales twist for them.

While the theme nights are nice, the one thing most important to the student sections isn’t outfit, it’s noise.

“I want as many people to come as possible, even if they don’t dress up,” Underwood said. “I like going over the top and being ridiculous, but if people don’t I don’t care. All I say is if you aren’t going to say anything stand toward the back and if you’re going to be loud be towards the front. That’s all I really care about.”


Twitter: @BWilliamsLEG

 Liberty Union students cheer for the Lions' football team in this Oct. 25, 2013, file photo.

Liberty Union students cheer for the Lions’ football team in this Oct. 25, 2013, file photo.


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