Poor attendance of sports teams at fall sports banquet reflects poor school spirit


Elizabeth Driver

Athletic Director Lawrence Dukes presents the cheerleaders during the Sports Banquet. The cheerleaders won first and second place in the competitions that they competed in during the season.

“We had a bad season. Why should I show up to the banquet?” one football player said to me on the day of the sports banquet.

In fact, only three members of the varsity football team attended the fall sports banquet. Three people representing a team of 28 does not add up. Besides the football team, the men’s junior varsity soccer team was not well-represented with only one player going up on stage when they were called.

As Athletic Director Larry Dukes called each sport on stage to recognize its accomplishments, those in the audience were astounded by the lack of players who showed up. Clapping for only a few athletes as they walk up to be recognized is, honestly, embarrassing.

No matter what the outcome of the season is, all athletes should show up to the banquet to support their team.

The banquet should be mandatory for all athletes. It’s the one time where JC comes together to recognize the hard work and accomplishments of all sports teams. I’m pretty certain that if athletes can dedicate hours each day to their sport for an entire season, they can spend two hours at a final sports wrap up ceremony.

Sure, everyone has other things they could be doing, but coming out and supporting not only your team, but also your school seems like the right thing to do.

The women’s cheer leading coach required the girls to attend the banquet. When Dukes called them on stage, they all stood up together and looked like a team. This is the perfect example of what a banquet is supposed to be like. It’s much better to see a unified team than one or two athletes who gave up their night to represent the entire squad.

The sports banquet has gone through changes in the past, such as moving from the gym to the auditorium. Implementing a change in participation is necessary at this point. If JC wants to improve its school spirit, coaches should require athletes to show up to the banquet at the end of the season. Seeing entire teams up on stage, regardless of their seasons’ outcomes, is what the banquets should be like from now on. If we want to build a sports program, we must find a way to celebrate it.

Hanna LeBuhn is a Lifestyles Editor for The Patriot and jcpatriot.com.