Redefining the school's sports environment

November 17, 2017

Audiences at school sporting events can vary quite a bit. When many students think or talk about sports, often times one can bet they’re talking football, basketball or hockey. However, that may not be the case anymore as the new athletic director, Buck Weaver, wants to make a few new changes to the high school’s sports environment.

To start off the sports season, Weaver is bringing change to the atmosphere by introducing a new non-required “policy” that increases the participation for Orange sporting events. This policy encourages each team -during its off season- to attend another team’s game to strengthen the school spirit. This new policy will bring a drastic change in the sports environment at the high school, especially for underappreciated sports such as tennis, golf, bowling and cross country.

In addition to increasing audience participation, Weaver said it can have a major impact on students to be exposed to another sport’s environment. “For example, if a basketball player has never been to a tennis match and they attended one, there is a good chance that player may find a passion for tennis they’ve never had before,” Weaver said.

Weaver started this policy when he was at Westerville South and said it had quite an effect on the school as it increased the audience at sporting events, especially for poorly-attended sports. This policy also allows for free admission for teams that choose to take part in this policy.

Weaver said this policy will have even more of an impact here and said, “Our culture of students truly bleed orange and blue.”

Several students also agree that this new policy will bring about an improved and positive sporting environment. Junior cross country runner Andre Farinazo, agrees that this policy will bring about a better sports environment. “I think it will definitely improve attendance. I’ve always wanted to see a competitive bowling match so I’ll be taking advantage of it.”

Like Weaver, Farinazo has high hopes that this policy will strengthen school spirit and increase the sports’ audiences. “I’m hoping it will have it will increase participation and have positive impacts on the school as a whole,” Farinazo said.

The basketball team recently attended a tennis match for this new, encouraged policy. Sophmore tennis player, Erin Storer said, the team was a bit loud for a tennis match and too close to the action. This may be the only downside to the policy, as many teams are unfamiliar with different sporting event’s atmospheres.

However, the policy seemed to benefit the tennis team for the most part. “I just think they didn’t realize, that tennis is a really quiet sport, and we aren’t used to people coming to support us. But they did cheer me on, and it was fun having a student section,” Storer said.

It seems that this new policy is something to be excited about. Students and staff have very high hopes for this policy, hoping that it will make the school spirit even better. It may seem impossible to do considering the massive student section, but it will definitely allow for increased audience at underappreciated sporting events, giving each sport a chance to represent the high school and show the school’s great work ethic.

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Orange Media publications are official student-produced mediums of news and information published by the Journalism students of Olentangy Orange High School. The publications have been established as a designated public forum for student journalists to inform, educate and entertain readers as well as for the discussion of issues of concern to their audience. They  will not be reviewed or restrained by school officials, adults or sources prior to publication.

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