Men’s basketball recruits increase school spirit

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This year, it has become a common occurrence for students to look and see a basketball invitation on their Facebook page or inbox. It isn’t enough anymore to simply place basketball posters around the school and announce events in the morning to get students attention. As sports teams strive for excellence, the athletic department works to show it off.

The amount of school spirit felt by students changes each year. This change can depend heavily on the upperclassmen. “If upperclassmen decide they want to be active at events, then the other students will follow,” Athletic Director Larry Dukes said. With a supportive senior class, school spirit has not been a problem this year.

However, Facebook and e-mails never hurt. “Mostly we want to make students aware of opportunities that come out of JC,” men’s basketball coach Tony Martin said.

Although student awareness is important, it does not mean that events like basketball games will be packed with cheering fans. “Things like basketball games are social events from the student’s perspective. If it’s fun and festive then they’ll come,” Dukes said.

This explains the steps that the teams and the administration have taken to make these events more fun. “The pep band really adds to the festive environment. It makes it feel more like a college environment rather than just a high school,” Dukes said.

JC also strives to make events more entertaining by showcasing the best of the best. “We recruit excellence in all areas at JC whether that is athletics or the arts or a student who is strong academically,” Martin said. During this recruiting process, the basketball team competes with other schools  in the area to gain interest of students who excel in certain areas.

“We can’t recruit from another high school but if a student decides to transfer while in high school, it’s their decision. We simply target top middle schools in Harford County and surrounding areas,” Martin said.

The recruiting process displays the school’s  effort to maintain this excellence. “I think that JC should continue [to recruit] because being able to do this only makes the program better and makes the school look better,” senior varsity basketball captain Jarred Jones said.

JC, along with all of the schools in the MIAA conference, work to recruit the best and create the most competitive team possible.

These middle school students must then decide which school would most benefit them. “JC stands out because we’re the only co-ed private school in the area. We try to highlight benefits of the co-ed environment,” Dukes said. This co-educational atmosphere allows for more variety when it comes to sports, academics, or the fine arts including band, theater, art, or any other activity offered here.

The recruiting of quality players simply increases the amount of spirit that the fans feel when they attend games. “If more and more people see the success of the program then more and more people will come out to show support,” Jones said.

The combination of excellence and awareness has allowed spirit to reach the level which it has so far this year. “This year spirit seems very high, which is a signal to the athletic department that this year’s senior class is a good one full of spirit,” Dukes said.

The recruiting process  helps to ensure excellence in all areas. This excellence, along with the increased awareness of school events, drums up great school spirit. “We can’t force fun, but if we make the games fun, then people will come,” Dukes said.

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