New Student Section Plan Expected to Boost Spirit


Photo courtesy of Hunter Smith

Hunter Smith, Reporter

The new attendance system for Novato High’s student section gives students an option to pay an initial fee in return for a few perks. Rather than pay the gate fee every time, students who join will get into all home games for free as well as receive shirts for whiteouts and blackouts. This new system was put in place by the athletic director, Michele Smith.

The hope for this system, in the long run, is to bring more energy and spirit to sports games as well as significantly raise the number of student spectators. 

Recently, Novato High has not been getting as many students attending sports games as they have in the past. Last year, students weren’t allowed to attend games due to COVID-19. The low number of people, mainly comprised of families, killed the normally exciting mood of sports games. 

The purpose of the new student section plan is to bring more students out to support Hornets’ sports teams and athletes. Smith thinks this new system has the potential to bring out a  large number of students to watch the games.

“My goal here at Novato is to build a strong athletic community and I believe it starts with the fans,” said Smith. “Creating the ‘Swarm’ Student section allows students to get into games free and be a part of something bigger than themselves. We hope that the spirit will catch on and we will see our stands packed this season and in the future.”

September 11, 2021, was the first time the “Swarm” student section was active and was put to test at the varsity football team’s home game against Kennedy. A large number of students came to watch and support the football team, many of them wearing the new shirts provided by the new payment system. 

The unusual feeling of having fans come to games is best described by those who played in it. Junior football player Nick Grotjahn explained how the number of spectators felt as he played in the game. 

“I feel like the fans boosted the whole team’s gameplay,” explained Grotjahn. “I feel like knowing we had a huge group supporting us like that pushed us to perform better.”

Junior Kai Patel also described how different it is to play for a large crowd rather than a small number of people. 

“Definitely, I loved having a lot of students show up to our game,” said Patel. “I believe one of the key factors in having a successful program is having support from the fans.”

The football game proved that the new payment method has the potential to bring school spirit back to our sports games. Students clearly want to return to the action and support Novato athletics. Increased fans in the stands give athletes something more to play for rather than just the win, and the energy could even help their performances on the field.