Finally, Fans in the Stands!

The Dog Pound Bleeds Blue Once Again


Madison Corgan, Reporter

The 2020 to 2021 school year has been like no other due to the COVID-19 pandemic. This year has been spent trying to salvage what we once loss. COVID-19 has had a drastic effect on the dynamics of our athletics. Not only have there been many modifications that the athletes have to adhere to, but there are also modifications for the spectators.
Beginning in our fall seasons for sports such as soccer, volleyball, football, track, and field hockey, we needed to adapt. Football had an extremely unusual and short season while volleyball which is played indoors was not allowed any spectators at all. On the other hand, for outdoor sports such as track, soccer, and field hockey, each player and coach was allowed two designated spectators for each game. At the gates of the field where the game was being played, the spectators needed to check in with a staff member. If their name was not on the list, they were asked to leave. This also meant that there would be no opposing team fans allowed at the game.
In our winter seasons including basketball, indoor track, and wrestling, the rules varied. In the beginning of the season, there were no spectators allowed at any sport event indoors. As the season progressed and the Shoreline Tournament began, each player was allowed two designated spectators to watch their home games. The school also successfully live streamed the home games so spectators could watch from home. Unfortunately, the wrestling and indoor track teams had an unusual season that was difficult to modify. Because of Connecticut’s high vaccination rates and the dropping positivity rates, there has been exciting news released regarding spectators at spring sports events. Students, staff, family members, and opposing team fans are now allowed to come out and support the outdoor sporting events. Spectators will be asked to socially distance and wear masks during the duration of the event.
Morgan Athletic Director, Lewis Pappariella stated, “We are very excited that in the spring we will be able to lift those restrictions and welcome our fans back with some common sense, with health protocols in place such as wearing masks and social distancing.”
Due to this year’s spectator rules constantly changing, the crowd control staff has had interesting interactions with passionate fans. Not only did these staff members have to make sure our own parents followed these rules, they were also responsible for regulating the opposing teams fans.
Library Media Specialist, Shannon Robinson, was one of the individuals who regulated the fans this past fall season. She said, “It was much more challenging during the fall season to work with away parents than it was with our own parents. Our own parents were able to understand the rules and follow them nicely, but sometimes away parents did not have the same regulations at their own schools, so they expected the regulations to be the same here.”
Technical Education teacher Larry Chapman is also the girls tennis coach here at Morgan. Excited to have fans back, he stated, “Playing without fans is not the same feel. With tennis, it’s awesome because it’s outside, so social distancing is not an issue at all. I think the players do better when they have parents or friends watching them.”
As seniors, we never thought having our classmates at our games and events would be possible this year. Since last year’s spring sports season was cancelled, having a season and spectators means more than ever.
Girls lacrosse captain and senior Lindsay Narracci said, “It’s good to have people on the sidelines because I do not know how I would play with it being silent on the sidelines. Personally I just love having my parents there. I thought we would have only two people per player for our spring lacrosse season, so it’s nice that it’s all open now for the students.”
Girls softball captain and senior Idalys Gonzales stated, “It’s really great to have everyone come together especially because we weren’t able to play on the field last year. It’s feeling like things are getting back to normal, and the support is really motivating!”
Lastly, I think it is safe to say that the individuals with the most excitement are the fans themselves. There is nothing that parents want more than to support their kids, especially if it is their last year playing the sport they have been playing for years. For us seniors and student fans, having a step back into a student section is the most exciting of all.
Senior and dog pound veteran Ryan Warner stated, “It feels great to be able to go back out to the games and get a group of students in our section. Being able to cheer on our team and be a little wild is always a lot of fun. I think it’s the best part about high school sports, and I know the players love it too.”
Junior and fan David Green said, “It’s great that we’re actually allowed to go to the games and support the players now. I do believe that more fans should show up to the games because it seems like we lost the Morgan spirit throughout this whole pandemic.”
Overall, there is enthusiasm towards the revival of school spirit here at Morgan.
In the words of Mr. Pappariella, “It will now feel like how a high school event should feel. It’s great to have fans cheering on their kids or their classmates.”
Throughout the duration of this pandemic, the effect on events such as sports games and high school milestones have been disappointing, but we are constantly reminded that these are not the most important losses at the moment. Allowing the support of our classmates and family members at events that mean so much to us is encouraging enough to keep us going.
Come support our spring sports teams and be a part of the dog pound!