If you go to a Grady football or basketball game, you’ll see hundreds of kids in the stands cheering on the team. But if you go to a soccer game, a baseball game, a tennis match or, for the most part, any other Grady sporting event, the most you’ll see are stands with parents and a few students.
This is a tad disheartening. Partly because I’m on the soccer team and have had firsthand encounters with home games where only a single parent has shown up, but also partly because I think the lack of support in general is sad. Yes, I get that football is America’s sport and yes, I get that everybody likes to watch basketball, but I would like to think that Grady students could still go out and support all the other sports teams as much as football and basketball.
What comes as a surprise to me is that the teams that get the least support are often the highest performing teams. The boys and girls soccer teams have had some of the best seasons in Grady history in the past two years, the tennis team has had runs at state the past few years and recently won regions and the boy’s ultimate frisbee team is ranked third in the nation. While it is true that attendance at soccer games has risen this past year, these accomplishments seem to have had little to no effect on the amount of student support for other sports, which is confusing to me. I would think that successful teams would garner the most student support, because who doesn’t like to watch your school team beat some of your most-hated private schools?
However, I understand that one of the biggest factors barring students from watching these other sports is that they simply aren’t interested in them. But then again, one of the main reasons students go to football games is to hang out with their friends and experience the atmosphere of the game. This atmosphere at football and basketball games seems to be the main motivator for students to attend games; it doesn’t seem to be because they love watching football and discussing the finer points of the sport. Looking at it from that perspective, there really is no reason that this atmosphere can’t be recreated at other sporting events. Watching the success of all Grady sports would only make the feeling of school spirit that much stronger and more prevalent.
I am not advocating for students to stop going to the football and basketball games, but students should diversify which teams they support so that all of Grady can be united, not just by one or two sports, but by as many sports as possible. And hey, who knows? Maybe we’ll start getting some rings if that happens.