BL Spotlight

Student Sections Possess More Influence Than Given Credit For

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Students cheer on the varsity soccer team. Photograph by Derrick Thomas.

The recently adopted inclusivity of student sections has caused an overall change in the culture of the school.

While it’s not always acknowledged, one of the most exciting facets of student life at Boys’ Latin is the student section. Appearing at every BL sporting event, the student sections offer students the opportunity to vocalize their school spirit as they cheer on their fellow Lakers.

Often, the advantage of student sections is simply understood as energizing teams as they compete.

Coach Schell, Boys’ Latin’s varsity football coach, validated this outlook. He stated, “those student sections always get our guys jacked up and I love them, especially when there are so many people.”

Players on the school’s teams also shared a similar perspective. In the case of Luke Patterson, varsity safety, he contended that “when the student section is at its best, there is much more energy on the field.”

However, in the vein of Boys’ Latin’s entire ethos, student sections have come to mean more than a mere reflection of the school’s spirit; the student sections have come to be extremely influential in student culture. This year, this influence is especially growing because of the efforts of Spirit Club leaders, who have taken on a remarkable inclusiveness that has flipped the dynamic of the typical underclassman to upperclassman relationship on its head.

Senior Spirit Club leader Scott Shuster believes the current senior class has made a complete revolution in the way underclassmen are regarded with respect to student sections. He claimed that “last year, the angle was dismissive towards underclassmen” and that his method of “approaching people in a friendly way is beneficial.” As a result, Shuster believes that the indoctrination of underclassmen has “pushed the overall culture in the right direction.”

In Shuster’s eyes, the influence of the student section also extends far past the reach of athletics and comes to characterize the bonds between students. He believes that the student sections reflect the BL student body’s brotherhood, which is important because the school is so small.

While this stance is common among seniors, freshman Tommy Ozonoff, despite only being in the upper school for months, shared a similar love of student sections.

“I try to go to every single sporting event that I can,” Ozonoff said, as he indicates his enthusiasm for student sections, a quality atypical among freshmen. Ozonoff credited his school spirit with the new efforts of the senior spirit leaders in involving underclassmen, specifically citing the Spirit Council: “I’m a member of the Spirit Council and I enjoy it because everyone has involvement no matter what grade you’re in.”

Ozonoff even goes further in describing the importance of the student section leaders, claiming that those individuals have more of an impact on the school’s culture than even the class government officials since “everybody wants to lead the student section one day.”

Student Section

The jersey-themed student section celebrates a victory for the varsity volleyball team. Photograph courtesy of Derrick Thomas.

Finally, the impact of student sections permeates to even reach those with an outside point of view. Eighth graders, who don’t typically engage in student section activities, have also felt the impact of BL student sections. Aidan Habibi, an eighth grader, expressed his optimism in his future involvement in the BL student section, exclaiming that “they give us something to look forward to when we’re in high school.”

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