By Chloe Conaghan '19
The ever-controversial topic of NCS girls attending STA sports events typically leads to two questions:
1. Should NCS girls consistently attend knowing the support may likely be unreciprocated?
2. Should NCS girls be going to an STA game while an NCS sports game is going on at the same time?
In my opinion, the answer to the first question really depends on the schools’ current senior classes. I truly think that school spirit, and therefore sports attendance, is rooted in the attitude and spirit of the senior class. Their attitudes trickle down and influence underclassmen. For example, this year’s STA senior class has been pretty supportive of NCS sports, or at least more than what I’ve seen in past years. At the homecoming soccer game, they came decked out in all-white, were covered in face-paint, and seemed more hype than some NCS girls. I think most girls, including myself, treat STA games as a social event to “see and be seen.” STA games are pretty fun and exciting because the boys themselves make it that way. In order to incite reciprocated attendance at an NCS game, NCS girls themselves have to spark this same excitement. NCS lacks the investment from non-athletes in their peers’ sports teams. Though I know everyone has a lot going on, it does take time and effort to build a supportive and interested fan base. STA students may not come to NCS games, but the attendance they have at their own games during the week is remarkable and generally unheard of for an NCS game. They occasionally attend games after their own practices or stay after school to watch and support. As an athlete, I can say I’ve never really seen an overwhelming sense of that time sacrifice for school spirit’s sake on our side of the Close. I don’t think this is anyone’s fault; I think it’s just our culture, and this culture is difficult to change. I think girls should be able to go to a fun, STA game, yet also realize that it’s on us to strive to have the same excitement at an NCS game. If we do that, the guys will want to come too. I also think it’s important for boys to recognize that, in some cases, when there’s a big NCS game, they should want to come and support, knowing that we have supported them.
Question number two is a personal pet peeve. I totally understand that an STA game naturally seems more fun than an NCS game on the surface, but I truly think that if we got a good group from all grades dressed up and excited to come to a big game at NCS, it could be way more fun in the sense that you’re supporting your own school and your own classmates. In my three years here, I have seen this a couple times at homecoming games or some Friday soccer games and, let me tell you, it’s SO fun. It brings the community together and gives athletes the recognition they deserve for the work they're putting in. I don’t expect NCS girls to choose an NCS game over an STA game every time, especially because sometimes STA just has a bigger game than we do. However, it’s on the NCS athletes to get word out for their big games, because I know that if athletes are requesting the presence of their friends and classmates at their game over an STA game, no one would refuse. The thing that bothers me the most, though, is just the invested interest in STA sports over NCS sports. Some NCS girls know everything about the players, records and schedules of an STA team, go to away games, try and get their friends to go out to all the games, and ask who won if for some reason they couldn’t attend. Some NCS girls don’t even know when NCS games are going on, let alone the upcoming schedule or players’ records. I know this isn’t true of every NCS student, but it is a cultural thing that is hard to change. That said, I think sports games are a great way to connect the Close and definitely make me feel a greater sense of the Close community. I love going to both NCS and STA games and hope the support continues and increases on both sides of the Close!