TWHS Community Weighs In on Increased Student Section Attendance


Toby Hamel

The Thomas Worthington Student Section during the first home football game at TWHS vs. local rival, Kilbourne High School.

Lily McAlister and Emily Grove

This football season at TWHS has been eventful, not just with the Varsity team making playoffs, but the student section has had some drama of its own, which is expected after an increase in attendance and such an eventful season for the team. Students are there for the live experience. It’s more than just football; it can get pretty wild. This season there has been a lot of cheering and support for student-athletes, but there have also been fights, an incident with mace, and other questionable behavior in the stands, specifically the student section. Therefore, the administration made a decision to keep students out of the grass area next to the bleachers and assign more staff to games to supervise spaces to make up for the lack of outside support. However, the new restrictions come with lots of community feedback. There are many perspectives on this issue, from students who want to have fun, to administrators who are concerned for student safety.

“I don’t think any of the juniors, seniors, or even sophomores are going to go in the grass”, said senior and Cardinal Crazy, RJ Stoller. “It’s mostly middle schoolers.”

Some say that middle schoolers should just not be allowed at the games at all, but Stoller thinks otherwise. “When I was in middle school I thought it was super fun to go, they should stay in their area though.”

Overall, these games and events are fun for the younger students and get them excited and engaged in the high school community. Maddie Miettinen, a student at Kilbourne Middle School, offered her perspective on security at the games.

“They have more security, if someone brings a bag, do a bag check”, said Miettinen. When asked about the new rule aimed at keeping students out of the grassy areas she felt that, “It really does nothing, absolutely nothing. I feel like it creates more work for the staff.”

Photographer and Freshman Class President, Toby Hamel, seems to have mixed emotions about these issues. His opinion is somewhat between Stoller’s and Miettinen’s.

“Well with Football games it’s like three times as many people as you’ll get at any other sporting event”, said Hamel.

The difference in the number of students at home games versus away games is huge. However, this makes sense considering the students that go to Thomas Worthington typically live nearer to the school than any of the competing schools, therefore it is easier to get a ride to home games than away games.

Another reason for the high attendance is that when there’s a stadium full of kids, it’s going to be more fun and interesting, but there is concern from students that the new regulations may make it less enjoyable to attend games. However, there is hope that both sides will be willing to collaborate in the future.

“If the administration wants to make it more entertaining, they should take suggestions from the students,” said Hamel.

Students want to participate in events that relate to our school and make choices for themselves. However, student feedback and opinions are not the only voices to be heard on the issue. TWHS Principal, Pete Scully, stated some very important facts.

“I think football returning to the open student section, and it being free for kids in grades 6-12 has resulted in probably our highest student attendance in years,” said Scully.

With a lot of students attending these games, almost any situation is possible. One particular issue around student safety Scully mentioned is the “Young Money” chant. “Young money” is a chant that occurs in the student section when the band plays a beat on the drums and the students put their arms around each other. The students then yell “young money,” and fall backward onto one another. Students love young money and think it’s so much fun, but the administration, on the other hand, is against it because it can be a safety issue. In the past, some students have sustained serious injuries from performing young money.

“I don’t like young money. I hate it. I hate it because every year we have some significant injury. But in terms of safety, you know I think our games are relatively safe, the issues typically arise in schools or at school events in areas that are very lightly supervised”, said Scully.

TWHS needs to be a great and safe place for everyone. Ideally, changes made this season will impact the remainder of the upcoming seasons.

“Kids are mostly excited to be there and having fun, but any time you add more people the likelihood of an issue goes up as well,” continued Scully. “We have to adjust our teacher coverage and our administrative coverage to hopefully clean up some of the things we have faced issues with.”