Teams need fans' season-long support

Advertisement

It's great to be in America, the land of second chances.
Those who filled the Moffat County High School gym Tuesday night played witness to the self-made second chance of the Lady Bulldogs' volleyball team.
The girls clinched a spot to the regional tournament in three sets, two of them grueling, against Battle Mountain a team whose number belongs to this year's Lady 'Dogs.
But, the girls second chance started earlier than last night's game.
It started Oct. 18 in a home game against Steamboat Springs. The team started to awaken from its season-long hibernation to come close to the brass ring, but not quite grab it playing two extremely close sets.
No, the ring was grabbed the next night, when the Lady Bulldogs rolled to a two-set victory over the Western Slope Conference's top-team, the Glenwood Springs Demons.
A trend was set in the final three games of the girls season ,and it wasn't just the sudden elevation of play it was the crowd. Fans were actually there supporting the team.
I can honestly say I've made all but one or two of this season's volleyball games and have watched the differences in the crowds from beginning to end. And the end was much more crowded in the crowd.
A good example of the fans lack of interest in high school sports is the Oct. 6 home-court match against Delta. It was a Saturday game, but you could have had a gun fight in the student bleachers and not wound any bystanders.
I wondered what students and adults were doing on a Saturday in Craig. I mean, you can put off fishing for an hour or two, and the deer are all bedded down at 1 p.m. (when the game was played). The Village Inn parking lot will always be there so why not show up and support your high school?
I can't say for sure about the parents, whether or not they've pulled the same stunts, since I don't know who all of you are. I can say this much though, the adult side has looked thin on many occasions this year.
But the Moffat County fans have saved face recently, because the turnout for the last three volleyball games was great. But, there's a whole season not just peak moments.
Volleyball hasn't been the only squad that has fallen prey to fan apathy, both student and adult. For example, the basketball squads put up a heck of a fight last year, both the boys and girls teams. So I expected to see more blue and silver in the Mesa State and Grand Junction Central stands for the district tournaments but it wasn't there.
Really, Grand Junction isn't that far away, and they have exotic cuisine like Applebee's yet another reason to make the drive.
Craig residents do a bang-up job at supporting wrestling. A fairly good section of the Pepsi Center was filled with Bulldog fans for the state tournament. I also saw what Bulldogs they were for the most part other athletes and parents. Where were the average Joe's of Craig and why didn't they make the drive to Denver?
I could go on forever citing examples, but it will lead back to the same point athletes need the support of their school and town. Not just in advertisement, but in attendance. Not just by students and parents, but by the entire community.
In the last three games of the volleyball season there wasn't one interview I conducted where fan support wasn't cited as one of the reasons why the team played so well.
So, in a land of second chances here's your second chance as fans: Carry over what I saw Tuesday into the rest of the seasons and make Moffat County a hard school to travel to.
I guarantee for all involved it will have an effect.
"The crowd was big factor in our win," said senior Laura Duran after Tuesday night's win. "They don't know how awesome, and what a big help they are."
For those locals who are interested, the Moffat County girls volleyball team plays again at Cortez on Friday and Saturday in the district tournament. The football team plays again at 7 p.m., in Delta on Friday, and Saturday both cross country teams compete in Denver at the state invitational.
I hope to see you there.

Commenting has been disabled for this item.