A Return to the Student Section

Students, Isaacs Express Thoughts and Feelings About Returning to Live Sporting Events


Claire Prater

The student section cheering on the Bruins. (Sep. 10)

Maggie Phelps, Writer

Last year, a staple part of the high school experience was lost: live sporting events.  We are no stranger to the coronavirus pandemic taking opportunities away from us, but it’s safe to say that the student body was at a loss without them.

The CDC regulations of a mask mandate at indoor sporting events and no required mask at outdoor sporting events has given back the opportunity to experience sporting events in-person this year. 

On Aug. 27, the student body joined together for the first home game of the season.

¨Oh I was tickled,¨principal Tim Isaacs said. ¨I thought the neon was great, and they [the students] did a good job.¨ 

Isaacs shed light on tackling health protocol at games.

“At some point, we really do have to get back to the fact that people need to be smart about this,” he said. “I know when you’re not here, many of you are acting like this (COVID-19) is nothing.”

Isaacs made it clear that the way students behave at games is a direct reflection of their personal health choices.

“At some point we gotta say, ‘life is full of choices, make smart ones.’ You’re the one that’s going to suffer the consequences, you and your family . . . if you get it and it hits you badly.”

469 members from the student body expressed their concerns for health at live events through a recent survey conducted by the CHHS Times staff.

“I don’t feel safe going to the games because from what I’ve heard from other students, there have been quite a few who’ve snuck into the games when they were quarantined for COVID and tested positive,” freshman Lainey Risley shared.  “My brother has epilepsy, so if I bring something home and he gets sick, he could have a seizure and end up in the hospital.”

Junior Paige Dugan shares Risley’s concern.

“Enforce the use of masks, please. We need it,” Dugan said. The stands were crowded, and something needs to change.”

Out of the 469 responses from the Bruin Survey, 178 people were able to say that they have felt completely comfortable at games, while 16 people stated that they feel completely uncomfortable at games.  The remainder of the participants voted along the middle. 

While the majority of people feel comfortable at games, those who felt uncomfortable took a moment to express their concerns. 

“The student section is always packed and the freshmen never want to move up so that seniors can have room,” freshman Nakeira Steele. “If you guys separated in sections by grade level we can space out more.”

Freshman Sophia Stover also provides suggested improvements

 “I definitely believe everyone (regardless of vaccination status) should be required to wear a mask. The hosts/attendees should also enforce at least a three foot distance between separate parties or groups.”

As of now, the future of live events this year is unprecedented.  

“So far you’ve done a pretty good job at being there,” Isaacs said. “Part of me wonders if it’s because it may not last long so we’re gonna take it while we got it, which I think is great.”

The appearance of the student body is a priority for Isaacs, both in behavior and health precautions.  He gives a brief reminder on game etiquette. 

“Booing a bunch of really large football players as they’re running past your student section really probably is not in your best interest health wise, you know,” Isaacs said, “and it was tacky too.  I mean that was really really tacky.  We cheer our people on, we don’t boo anybody else.”

Regardless of your ability to make it to a game this season, there are still ways to help in supporting your student athletes. 

“We decorate lockers for homecoming, why can’t different groups adopt the seniors from each sport and decorate an area for them, or leave little treat bags in the locker rooms before a game,” Isaacs shares, “I think that’s a conversation you need to have.”

Unity is important now more than ever. 

I want us to represent ourselves well.  I want other people to look at Central Hardin how I look at Central Hardin. There isn’t anything better, so I want us to act like that.” Isaacs said. 

 Whether we can be together for a live sporting event or not, the student body is made to support each other.