Cheers to the WHS students

By on December 21, 2011

Bruce Morgan

Record Express

Sports Editor For awhile, it seemed as though student sections at local high school basketball games were becoming a thing of the past.

In a lot of gyms throughout the league, you might have small pockets of students cheering here and there in the bleachers, but not a real organized showing. There are exceptions, but there aren’t a lot of places anymore where the student sections really stand out.

On Tuesday night, the fine students at Warwick gave me a pleasant surprise.

From the time I walked through the doors, they had a lot of energy and they sustained it over the course of the game in a key contest against Cocalico. They were loud. They were funny. And they were good.

The presence of a pep band, right beside their classmates in the corner of the gym, was a huge, huge plus to the atmosphere.

If I’m not mistaken, the students also had a regular presence at football games this fall. A row of them had "W-A-R-R-I-O-R-S" spelled out in body paint and they were doing a good job of making noise to support the home team.

And I know that there have been good student sections at Warwick’s basketball games in previous years. But on Tuesday night, there was something different. I don’t know if it was the presence of the pep band or if they had more numbers or louder kids, but they definitely took it to another level.

Apparently, it was the same way in Warwick’s home opener against Lampeter-Strasburg last Tuesday night. But on Tuesday night, I couldn’t help thinking what the Cocalico players must have been thinking.

Usually, it’s the Eagles who benefit from having a rowdy student section behind them. I remember seeing their Eagles Nest student section at a couple of games last year, and it really does provide a home-court advantage.

That’s what those Warwick students helped to create for their classmates on Tuesday. Given the indoor environment, with nowhere for the noise to go, it makes a big difference. Even though some might have been a little bit off key singing the National Anthem — I can say that because my singing is always off key — it was a nice performance. Late in the game, they cheered senior Jared Grosh as he scored his first two points of the season at the foul line. And my favorite part was the students mimicking a roller coaster, complete with the easy stop at the end.

On top of everything, by all appearances from where I was sitting, they seemed to keep it clean and positive for their team.

Count Warrior coach Jeff Landis as one who appreciated the support.

Asked for his reaction to the students following Tuesday’s win, he said, "That’s great. I think that’s awesome. It makes for a great atmosphere.

"I was talking to (Cocalico’s) assistant coach before the game talking about whether we want to go over and join the student section or if we want to stay here and coach the game," Landis quipped. "It looked like a lot of fun. I think it’s just an awesome atmosphere. I appreciate it, I know that."

Hopefully it continues through the season, and by all appearances, it will. To me, it appears as though there’s room for even more students toward the top of the bleachers in that section. It would be pretty neat to see the turnout grow as the season progresses and make the Warwick gym a difficult place for opponents to come and play. More COLUMN, page B-4

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