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Column: Girls' powerhouses deserve more fan power

by Jared Perlo

In a sports culture widely thought to be full of macho masculinity, several of this school’s girls’ teams are in the midst of dramatic playoff runs. Between the girls’ swim, soccer, volleyball, dance, and cheerleading teams, this fall playoff season is being swarmed with an impressive invasion of black and orange.

In perhaps their best seasons in many years, girls’ teams deserve more of a fan showing than a spattering of students who take fan buses. Instead, the larger school community, even students who don’t readily identify themselves as athletes, must coalesce behind our mighty Tiger athletes and support them with our patented Sixth Man enthusiasm.

With the guidance of a strong core of upperclassmen, many of whom have played on the varsity level for the Tigers’ past four playoff runs, the girls’ soccer team have been nothing short of unstoppable this season, amassing an impressive 19-0-2, undefeated record. In fact, this season marks the first time that the girls’ team has advanced through the semifinal round in ten years. To highlight their accomplishment and give the girls an extra boost, students should take advantage of fan buses and private carpools to trek out to Worcester State University on Friday and give the girls a cheering section of their own at the state finals.

Then there’s the girls’ swim team, which recently made its way to sectionals and will compete at state championships in the coming weeks. If every sport could have the swim team’s loyal 46th man cheer squad—a clever take on the basketball team’s famed Sixth Man cheering section—every athlete at this school could sport the same smiles that the swimmers show off while their fans cheer away from the pool’s bleachers. As an example of the swim team’s success, the current 400-yard freestyle relay team just shattered the school’s record by an impressive seven seconds at the Bay State Championships at WPI two weeks ago.

The same encouraging trend follows for the cheerleading and dance teams, two sports that are often incorrectly thought of as additions and accessories to the football and basketball programs. As the two powerhouses have demonstrated this season, however, they are mighty in their own right.

The cheerleading squad just took home gold at the Bay State Championships on Wednesday, and the dance team looks forward to its performance at the state championships a week from today.  These team participants are athletes too, same as the members of the more acknowledged sports teams, and should command the same respect and pride that we so readily lay upon the more recognized teams.

Last but not least, with an impressive, 3-0 domination of Concord-Carlisle tonight, girls’ volleyball proved that past years’ successes continue with the current squad on their way to their own state final—yes, there are two Tiger teams in the state final—on Saturdy at Algonquin Regional High School. With an 203 record, the volleyball team has been supported by its upperclassmen might, and has taken with it a strong upperclassman fan section. If the volleyball team can build upon the strong fan support that it has commanded for recent games by luring underclassmen and parents likewise to cheer the lady Tigers on, then the volleyball program and the school as a whole will be further united and propelled to victory.

If there were ever a time for students to take pride in its athletic accomplishments, this playoff season definitely tops the list. To celebrate and encourage the teams’ unprecedented, simultaneous successes, this school community should come together behind the many successful girls’ programs, no matter the sport, and give them the extra support that might, just might, push them one step closer to a championship.

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