The Basketball Season

The boys’ basketball team is impossible to ignore this winter. From an influx of Dub Club emails to Weekly Reports jam packed with games, it’s likely that all of Western Reserve Academy is well informed. Further, the turnout at games has increased many times over, with students skipping study hours and arriving decked out in themed clothing, from tourist gear to pajamas. Whether this can be attributed to the arrival of Chris and Cordell Livingston ’22 (and the resulting increased buzz around the team) or a more active student body remains to be seen.

But one thing is clear: when attending most of the boys’ home games, it is easy to pick out the center of attention: the student section. The energy runs incredibly high, with students from all grades flocking to the stands and wearing the assigned garb of the evening. So ferocious, rambunctious and sometimes violent is the student section that it has led to multiple Morning Meeting announcements warning students to back down.

One anonymous senior observes that, “The boys who lead the student section often create derogatory names for the opposing players, usually commenting on their race or body, and proceed to yell these throughout the game with no adult intervention. Also, the fact that there must be a security guard near the student section should be a sign that there is too much negative energy.” Other students have reported chants of “Happy Lunar New Year!” directed at the sole Asian player on an opposing team, and “Go back to football!” to a largely built rival player.

It is an interesting phenomenon to see the aggressive and populous support abounding around the team, which has a 7-12 record at the writing of this article. On the other hand, the girls’ basketball team (with a 7-6 record at this time) experiences considerably less student turnout. Captain Ella Siegenthaler ’20 commented, “We don’t usually get many fans at our games, but we all appreciate the ones we have. Shoutout to Will Lockwood, Suraj Dakappagari, James Cook and all other repeat offenders.” The girls are looking forward to continuing a successful season, supported by their smaller and more reverent, yet excited crowd.

When it comes to boys’ basketball games, our community is having fun, but at what cost? When cheering at basketball games, remember to be respectful and not racist or hateful.

Chloe Zelch ’20

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