Keeping watch over student news at East Leyden High School

The Eagle's Eye

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“All I do is win win win no matter what,” the Leyden student section chanted near the end of an away football game against Downers Grove North. The otherwise encouraging spirit of the students, sadly, turned to irony for the players on the field, who were being bruised 35-7. As the team struggled to score, the fans may have been having too much fun partying to realize how their good times were affecting their team.

The loss made the ride back home dreadful, and after listening to the disgruntled team members voice their frustration about disconnected fans, manager Joe Longo took to Twitter: ”@LHS_BlueCrew You are terrible,” he wrote. “If you’re going to the game, go there for the sport and the team, not to get lit to music.”

Then came the backlash, with fans defending their spirit and calling Longo and the team ungrateful. Fans had, after all, traveled 40 minutes to support the team. That response prompted a team response, which created more Tweets, and so on and so on. Following the weekend of tension, Blue Crew leader Waldo Diaz expressed that he had felt the team was being unappreciative. “We felt attacked,” Diaz said “for going out to a game that’s 45 minutes away and being criticized for what we did.”

So, how fitting was the fan’s fun at DGN? This question created by a Twitter “beef” actually poses a bigger question: what is the purpose of a student section? Is it to cheer on the players or to unite the students and create a sense of school spirit at sporting events? How should school spirit differ when the team is losing?

Now that we’re a couple of weeks past the online drama, both the Blue Crew and the Leyden football players are in a better place, agreeing that the student section should be there to support the team and not only hype up the players but build momentum amongst the crowd.

Football player Adrian Aviles expressed that he is thankful for the Blue Crew, but there could be a few adjustments. “I don’t pay too much attention, but from what my teammates have said, at that particular moment they were more focused on what was happening in the crowd than what was happening on the field. They were not at their best, but that is because we were losing. It’s our job to win the game, but the student section’s job is to cheer, so when we’re losing, just keep cheering us on, so we don’t lose the momentum.”

Although there is not much the student section can do when the team is struggling to win, they shouldn’t allow the loss to dictate their amount of school spirit.

The Blue Crew definitely redeemed themselves and improved their efforts in leading the student section at our first home game. “We revised our plan of attack at the home game.” Diaz said. “I put my heart and soul into the cheers, I was running up and down the stands; I was trying to get everyone hyped up.”

If the Blue Crew continues to find different ways to keep the student section interested, and if that balance of fun and support can be found, then it is safe to assume the rough patch will be behind both parties.

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