by: Mia Bennett, Siena Shipcott, and Grace Lindsey
School spirit at Morro Bay High School (MBHS) has been a hot topic lately, with varied attendance/participation during the 2021-2022 school year at homecoming events, football games, and spirit weeks. Movies about high school ( High Musical, Mean Girls, and Sixteen Candles etc.) often depict school spirit as fun and exciting, but Morro Bay High School students don’t seem to be super involved in these activities. How come?
Morro Bay School ASB, responsible for planning school events and spirit weeks, recognizes this problem. “It sucks,” says Noah Howard, a senior at MBHS and member of ASB. Another member of ASB agrees – “we need more people to participate.” ASB says that most people don’t believe COVID-19 has anything to do with it. However, they do believe COVID positively affected participation at homecoming, with over 50% of the school attending. This event was safe and had a good turnout after requiring all students who attended to get tested or show proof of vaccination.
JV sports are an example of low school spirit at MBHS. The JV football team at MBHS says that turnout at their games is low, and is mainly attended by their parents, with almost no students. “Why can’t we cheer on JV just as much as varsity?” asked Damien Howell, a freshman on the JV football team. “We’d like more people to come to games.” Logan Mehan, another JV football player, agrees. “ We play better when we have support from the school”. This is one example of how school spirit could have a direct effect on the success of Morro Bay programs. MBHS students would like their teams to do well, but won’t attend the games when the sports teams are not doing well.
As a whole it could be why our school spirit is lacking – some football players even went so far as to say that cheering is embarrassing. School spirit means supporting your school at its highs and its lows. This includes the sports teams and even the academic clubs as well as other clubs around MBHS. Anyone can say that football gets the most attention at high school. Yet this attention is only when the students at MBHS feel like the team is doing well. As a student at MBHS you should support all branches of the school no matter how they do in their games or their competitions.
However we have had improvement from years prior. Cheer Coach Tamara Baston has witnessed school spirit first hand. “This is my second year. Last year was a bust. However my husband and I would attend the football games prior to me coaching here. There were never too many students at the games. This year has been wonderful to see the enthusiasm with the numerous students in attendance.”. At the football games school spirit is an important way to show support for our school. Baston was asked if she believes that if there was a difference in performance of the football team when more students or people show up to the games ”Absolutely. They don’t give up. They stay engaged and appear to want to win”. Students are very engaged. Baston has noted that at the football Games the students especially show their spirit here. “They have been. We invited them on the mats for the last game to provide additional spirit.”.
Many students wished to participate in school spirit but are too embarrassed or feel too cool to. The ASB class all responded to that by stating that no one cares and no one is ‘to cool’ to participate in School Spirit. ASB student Noah Howard added “ you get a high school experience by participating and joining in.” There is nothing to lose by participating and being a part of school spirit so just go for it.