One fall sports season, hold the fans


Dylan Orlando

An onlooker watches a sparsely attended field hockey game


Over the last few months, we have watched sporting events in near silence, stadiums that were once filled to the top are now empty and the energy from the crowd is gone. This has had a major impact on the professional level, they’re not used to playing without the spotlight. However, how will this affect high school student-athletes?

The North Eastern Conference is allowing a minimal amount of fans at each home game – two per athlete to be exact. As a result of this, teams that once saw bleachers lined with people are now seeing a small scatter of socially distanced parents. Teams that are used to having the city of Gloucester behind them during every major play, are now left with a dull roar that is easily swallowed by the winds of the canal.

In recent years, the GHS boys soccer team has “been seeing more and more fans at games” enough so that they “have been a noticeable factor at most home games,” says senior captain Owen Hardy. But now, these young fans have been axed, and the team is forced to face opponents on their own.

“We are going to have to encourage each other all game long. It’s going to require a new level of intensity, but keeping each other motivated and focused is absolutely crucial in high school soccer, especially towards the end of the game when everyone is starting to fade,” said Hardy, in response to what the team needs to do to stay energized. The team is currently 6-2 with only one home loss, so the plan to keep the energy up between teammates has worked thus far. 

Unfortunately, this plan will have to continue, and likely be passed on to other sports. As much as the world would love to see fans back in stadiums, it is simply not safe enough to allow them yet. Cases are back on the rise and people need to follow all guidelines now more than ever, especially if they want to see home crowds go crazy again in the future.