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The Antelope

The Antelope

Sports teams are finding success, but students are lacking support

JIYOON KIM / ANTELOPE STAFF The student section in the north end zone is often empty due to the lack of participation.

It’s been a year of success for UNK athletics. With the football team making the playoffs for the first time in 10 years and the volleyball team on a winning streak, there hasn’t been a fall sports season like this one in a long time. There’s just one thing that is missing.

Support from the students.

There has been a severe lack of unity in UNK’s student sections this year. Many students don’t attend games, even though they pay for free attendance to sporting events when they enroll each semester. 

Many students also don’t sit in the designated student section areas. These areas are on the north end zone for football, the south end for basketball and the east end for volleyball. Students don’t sit in these areas and usually opt to sit with their friends somewhere else.

This is apparent at many football games as reporters and fans have often noticed the lack of students in the north end zone bleachers. It’s usually just the redshirt football players and small groups of students sitting in the section.

At other sporting events, the majority of people in the student sections are student-athletes. The support from the students who are not participating in sports is lacking. 

There could be a better home advantage if students were unified together, cheering for the Lopers. Many other MIAA schools have more intimidating venues due to rambunctious student sections harassing the opposing teams. 

UNK needs to create ways to have this advantage, especially since many UNK teams are successful. 

The school needs to have designated student section leaders. UNK sports administration needs to find people who are willing to lead a student section and attend a majority of sporting events. 

There are students out there who are passionate about sports and would probably be more than willing to take up the role. They could run social media accounts, create theme nights for games and lead unique chants at the games.

Many high school student sections have themes for students to be a part of at sporting events. This is something that could be done at UNK as well. Theme nights such as pajama day, blue and gold, blackout and toga nights could create an atmosphere that students would want to go to. 

One of the things that UNK used to do at volleyball games was chant, “U-N-K,” during the bump, set and spike by the opposing team. This is not used by the student section today and many of the students who attend games probably don’t even know it existed. 

Having unified chants at games would create a fun and rowdy atmosphere at UNK sporting events. It often distracts the other teams when students do this, and it gets in their heads.

All of these things would make students want to be a part of this environment. Students would be willing to procrastinate on their projects and go to a game if they knew they would make fun memories with their friends.

One of the toughest things to do is to have the teams be good enough for students to want to go to games. UNK’s teams are finding success, and it’s time for the rest of us to be a part of it.

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