The student news site of Southern Lehigh High School

The Spotlight

The student news site of Southern Lehigh High School

The Spotlight

The student news site of Southern Lehigh High School

The Spotlight

Student seating in new bleachers impacts school spirit

Solehian Photographer
The new bleachers set advantages and disadvantages for students and athletes.

This August, Southern Lehigh’s brand new stadium was completed just in time for the first home football game. Improvements include larger bleachers, an updated track, a turf field, and a new digital scoreboard. With the larger home-side bleachers, students have had to adjust. Specifically, the band is on one side of the bleachers and the student section is on the opposite. While this was always the case, the larger bleachers put the two groups much farther away from each other than in the past, generating mixed emotions among the student body.

“I would love it if the band and student section would be closer together,” said senior Grace Hannah, assistant drum major to the band. “I think it’d be a great opportunity to show our Spartan pride and how the community is one big family.”

Many students do not like how far away they are from each other. Students find it hard to hear and interact with one another as they did in previous years. 

“I do not like how far away the band is, I like to have the student section involved with things other than just the football game like the cheerleaders or the band,” said senior Elijah Calaba, “I wish they were close so we could do chants with the band.”

With cheerleaders positioned in front of the student section, they cannot hear the band, which is very important for them in order to do band dances. Parents, grandparents, and supporters who are coming out to see the cheerleaders also cannot see them, since the student section stands for the whole game. On the other hand, if the cheerleaders are in the middle of the stand, where their families can see them, they can’t interact with the student section, which is a big part of entertainment at football games. 

To make everything easier, it would be better to move the dedicated sections for the band and student section closer together, with the approval of the administration. Moving them closer together could also allow better access for those who have trouble walking up the stairs and need to use the handicap access ramps. With the student section and band being on each end of the stands, they create potential obstacles between the access ramps and the seats in the center sections of the bleachers. 

The bottom of the student section stands in the walkway area, completely blocking access from one ramp. Since the student section is blocking one of two handicap entrances, someone who needs to use a ramp would need to go around to the other side of the bleachers to use the ramp in front of the band section. When the band moves in and out of the stands, this causes another temporary obstacle for spectators with mobility issues. 

 “It would make it easier for adults [and] grandparents who want to sit in the bleachers but might have a hard time walking,” senior and cheerleading captain Camdyn Frey said. “The parents’ [and community] section would be more accessible if it was closer to the stairs connected to the ramp.”

Some might argue that it would be a hassle to move everything around so late into the season, but this change would follow into future seasons. Also, some parents may be worried that they can’t sit in the middle. A solution to this would be splitting the bleachers in half. 

Parents and community members would get their side – three fifths of the bleachers – and the student section and band would get the other side. This ensures that some parents could still sit in the middle section of the bleachers if they want. Other parents or spectators who don’t like hearing the band or the student section chants can sit farther away from them, on the far end of the bleachers. Doing this would bring the student section, the band, and the cheerleaders closer together, and also create better access for those who need a wheelchair ramp.

“I would like that student section and band to be closer together, since I feel that our cheering would be much louder,” senior drum major Lauren Meaney said. “We are all students, and it would bring us all closer together and unite us as Spartans if we sat together.”

Bringing the band, cheerleaders, and student section closer together would make the students feel more involved with each other and create a more enjoyable game experience for all the students at the football games.

About the Contributor
Kelcie Wagner
Kelcie Wagner, Entertainment Editor
Junior Kelcie Wagner is a third-year staff reporter and the current Entertainment editor. She is a part of fall cheerleading, winter track and field, and spring track and field. She is also involved in Varsity Club, Mini Thon, Angel 34, and Student Council. Outside of school, Kelcie enjoys baking and cooking, and watching her favorite show, “The Rookie.” In the future, Kelcie plans to attend college, where she hopes to major in criminology.