Prep Sports

Mount Vernon students love their sports teams

HS journalism: Different attire is one way to show unity, support

Mount Vernon students support their sports teams in a variety of ways. A favorite is #x201c;tourist#x201d; attire. (Park
Mount Vernon students support their sports teams in a variety of ways. A favorite is “tourist” attire. (Parker Whitham/Mount Vernon sophomore)
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MOUNT VERNON — Your heart pounds in your chest.

Thud. Thud. Thud.

Everything you’ve worked for comes down to this moment. Your heart might flop out onto the court.

“Welcome Mount Vernon High School!” The announcer exclaims as the crowd begins to bark. Your eyes track down the source of the sound like a light in the dark. You look up, and smile. You gape at what looks like hundreds of students straining their vocal cords and applauding with exhilaration for you.

There they are. The fans. The groupies that make the game.

Mount Vernon High School has always taken pride in athletics. Bleeding with skill and determination, high school athletes are no joke. On and offseason, athletes eat, sleep, and breathe their sport.

“The commitment level is insane,” Parker Whitham, a sophomore varsity volleyball player, said.

High school varsity sports take extreme dedication, time and passion.

An athlete’s hard work doesn’t go unnoticed. With pep rallies in the fall, scholarship opportunities, Senior Night traditions and local news highlights. High school athletes are in the spotlight for their hard work and accomplishments.

But sports are just a game without the fans in the audience. There’s nothing to compete for without support from the stands. Players and fans contribute to the creation of an environment of competitive excitement.

Mustang fans make a point to be in the stands, dressed in themed attire, supporting our teams no matter what. In past years. an early release has even been implemented to allow for students to go to the state volleyball, basketball and football games.

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For several years, high school students have created a strong tradition of dressing alike in the stands. Whether it’s a white-out or a beach theme, MV students go all out.

“This year at one of the volleyball games Leo Appleton, Jake Coon and Kayden Pendergrass wore white leggings, white headbands and white shoes,” Henry Ryan, a four sport sophomore athlete, said.

A survey was sent out to Mount Vernon students in October to vote for their favorite dress-up theme. The top three favorites this year are beach/tourist, country and blackout. The attire needed to dress for the tourist theme is floral Hawaiian shirts, bucket hats and sunglasses.

Kasia Wiebel, a junior, voted for tourist as her favorite theme, saying “It’s always so much fun and I feel like everyone goes all out.”

The tourist theme was even chosen for the state volleyball championship two years in a row.

The country theme is usually interpreted as cowboy hats, boots and flannels.

“I tried on my dad’s boots before a football game and felt like a real cowboy at the game,” said Lilly Krob, a sophomore who voted for country as her favorite theme.

The other theme in the top three, the blackout, is a classic because unlike the other themes where some students don’t dress up, everyone is completely uniformed in black.

High school can be pretty tough and tensions and ill feelings can arise, but being part of the student section can unify the students toward a common goal: supporting their classmates.

Mumbled bouncy cheers, the clapping applause and mild choreography is all part of the thrilling student section. Sporting events outside of school give students the opportunity to dress up and have fun.

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“I think it’s a fun way to embrace school spirit and to bring the students together for the game,” junior Isabelle Krob said.

The positive encouragement oozing from the student section plays a big role in a team’s performance. Tyler Panos, a four-sport sophomore, said looking into a crowd of cheering fans from the field is, “one of the many things that makes football season special to me.”

High school sports are taken very seriously and Mount Vernon students play like their lives depend on it. The Mount Vernon volleyball team was the returning state champions this year, so of course the student section was overflowing.

“When they first let the fans into the arena, we had some students come running in to get in the front row,” volleyball coach Maggie Willems said. “It was so fun to see their enthusiasm and excitement for the game.”

A close game can get pretty intense and the energy on the court needs something to balance the tension of competition. That’s where the fans in the stands come in. The student section is the positive booming force that drives players to grit their teeth and give it their all.

“It’s really important in volleyball, specifically because the game is so back and forth, and the student section really helps us get momentum,” Whitham said.

The fans’ support is more than just to win the game. It’s deeper than that. Students show up for the athletes, their friends. win or lose. The high school has a tradition of “super fans.” Students can order super fan T-shirts with a player’s name on the back.

“To be a super fan means, to me, that the person you are representing means a lot to you,” said sophomore Finley McVay, who has a (Tyler) Panos superfan shirt. “When you wear the shirt you’re not only representing who they are but who you are as well. It also shows that no matter what happens during the game, whatever the sport is, that I will be proud of him and proud of what he was able to accomplish, and I want people to see that.”

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High school is not all about sports, but maybe young adults supporting each other isn’t so bad — a competitive event that tricks us into coming together.

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We value your trust and work hard to provide fair, accurate coverage. If you have found an error or omission in our reporting, tell us here.

Or if you have a story idea we should look into? Tell us here.