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Bruin athletes starved for crowd contribution

Senior Colby Lunsford participates in his last few baseball games of his high school career. Baseball is one of the few sports at Bear River with unlimited fan presence. Photo by Maya Bussinger

This year, changes in sporting events because of COVID-19 has caused very little fan presence at games. Players and coaches are navigating games without the crowd’s energy in the stands. There are differing opinions on the subject but everyone agrees that fans are a key part of the high school sports experience. 

Girls Varsity Basketball Coach Jeffrey Bickmore explains the control County Health has over spectators at sporting events.

 “It’s not my decision if fans can come to a sporting event or not,” said Bickmore . “County health and the school district have the responsibility of deciding what is safe for everyone involved.”

 Bickmore comments on the school spirit that fans add to sports games, and how important it is for students to have an exciting crowd experience. 

“I think fans obviously add a lot to sporting events,” he said. “An enthusiastic crowd makes the experience more fun and enjoyable for the participants. Being a part of a cheering section for a student is a big part of high school. Not only is it fun but it also is a chance to bond and support athletes that work so hard to represent the high school.”

Sophomore Football player Anders Torgerson expressed his disappointment of missing out on having fans this year and the factors they bring to the game.

 “I think they should be allowing fans at sporting events as they can distance themselves,” said Torgerson. “I believe that fans are important as they show how much of a community Bear River is.”

Junior Basketball player Ryan Downes believes that having fans at games is important for the high school sports experience.

 “That’s what makes high school sports great,” he said.

Junior basketball player Carter Nunnink agreed with Torgerson and Downes, adding that as long as people follow the COVID-19 protocols, it should be safe to attend.

”Yes, they should [be able to attend] because if people go and [are] distanced, it’s not a problem, and students and parents want to see the game.” said Nunnink.

Bickmore conveyed that he simply was glad that athletes got a chance to participate in sports this year, despite the fan dilemma.

“Watching games without students cheering is hard to get used, to but I’m just glad athletes are getting a chance to compete again,” he said

Coaches and players hope that fans will be allowed back at sporting events soon. COVID-19 compromised sports, but with people following the protocols, there is hope for more fans to be allowed back on in the stands.

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Bruin athletes starved for crowd contribution