Rowdy Rangers? Boisterous soccer fan section creates controversy

The+Greely+student+fan+section+celebrates+at+a+recent+soccer+game.

The Greely student fan section celebrates at a recent soccer game.

The Greely soccer team scores a goal, and the student section erupts. A cloud of baby powder rises and confetti is shot into the air.
This fall there has been a lot of controversy regarding the student section. Many students feel as if they’re not doing too much at all and are just going to soccer games to support their classmates while administration thinks that the students are being too “rowdy” and going over the top. Parents and players also have mixed opinions and somewhat agree with both students and administration.

Mr. David Shapiro, Athletic Director of MSAD #51, says that “[he loves seeing students] be loud and support [our] Rangers,” but there are some rules we need to follow.

“There are things that we can do and can’t do based on the Maine Principals Association,” Shapiro said.  “They set rules. You can’t run around bare-chested. You can’t have artificial noisemakers. Some other things of that nature.”

There are a couple actions that Mr. Shapiro wants to make sure students avoid doing at games such as shooting baby powder and confetti into the air.

“Some people are allergic to that stuff,” Shapiro said. “It’s in the air, it’s in your lungs, and if you’re an athlete and you have to suck on baby powder, that’s a problem. If you have an asthma condition that can be a real problem.”

However, not all students agree with this.

“I personally think that we should be able to use powder and confetti at our games,” senior Dominic Sola said. “It creates a great effect for us fans and the players. I’ve seen other schools do this and there seems to be no problem at all.”

Many players voiced their opinion on the fan section and claim it can be good for them but maybe not for others.

“I think it’s pretty funny when people chirp me,” player Liam Sheff said. “I can’t imagine that’s everyone’s philosophy, and so I’m not a huge fan of other people getting chirped, especially in a blowout.”

“I absolutely can hear the fan section,” varsity goalie Luca Duina said. “It gives me some more energy, I feel.”

A few players have also commented on what should be controlled when it comes to the student section.

“Control is necessary.  Fan sections should not be chanting obscene things,” Duina said.“Because of that, effort should be put into controlling the truly preventable and harmful issues.”

On the other hand, some parents find the student section’s rowdy reputation over-exaggerated.

“Beyond one incident, I have not witnessed or heard anything that I feel goes too far,” boys varsity parent Barry Sheff said. “I think it’s great that students attend games to support their classmates, and their energy seems to be well-intentioned, fun, and generally appropriate. I have not been offended by the students in the stands.”

There have been a couple reminders about what kinds of chants are appropriate and what are not.

“I do think our student section can use their energy in a more positive direction.[Students should] shift towards chants and cheers supporting our team vs being negative toward opponents and officials,” parent of both a girl and boy varsity player, Tammie Turner said. “We have a great group of kids with school spirit. We should build on that.”