For the last several years, attendance at Riordan sporting events has been low. Really low. So low that our principal held an assembly to address the issue, students openly mocked the attendance at games, and parents outnumbered students at virtually every event. Finally, things have begun to change.
At the Riordan-SI basketball game on Jan. 31, so many students came out to watch the event that there wasn’t enough room to seat them all, and many had to be moved to the court. Flags, swords, shields, and even stuffed rabbits, were waved by the rancorous crowd of cheering students in a show of school pride reminiscent of days gone by, when a packed gym was the norm. Suddenly, a large crowd like this has become more typical.
This change can be attributed in large part to our state-ranked basketball team. Quite simply, people are more invested when they’re winning. And since, game after game, Riordan’s basketball team continues to triumph with astylish flair, it makes sense thatthe size of the crowd is increasing.
But what happens when our basketball program takes a dip in quality years down the line? Such an event is inevitable. And, when it happens, Riordan is left in the same position it was two or three years ago, with a general apathy towards sporting events.
It is the position of this newspaper that programs be put in place now to prevent that from happening. The school needs to capitalize on its recent surge in attendance in order to preserve school spirit for the years to come. If a more organized system is established at the present time that sets standards for our cheering section, props for the crowd, creative cheers, and more, then it will be more likely to be carried into the future.
Most of the responsibility for this promulgation of school spirit rests on the shoulders of the newly established Spirit Club, an organization created with the intent to support Riordan’s athletic events. Right now, students are more willing to be spirited. If that spirit is shaped and directed by the Spirit Club, it is increasingly likely that student support for the athletic events will be a mainstay of our school. Freshmen brought into a spirited culture will be more likely to adopt and continue that spirit, thereby increasing its longevity.
The school has a chance to turn its culture of apathy into a long lasting culture of spirit and energy. Organizing the energy of the student body now will keep the gym packed for years to come. The Spirit Club can start working on new traditions, new cheers, and consistent advertising to make that happen.
Riordan is in a position of strength. We, the staff of The Crusader, want to keep it that way.