Archive for Thursday, September 28, 2006

Opinion: BLHS teams need “Gang Green”

September 28, 2006

Here's a newsflash for some of the kids who go to Basehor-Linwood High School: there's other sports besides football going on right now.

Don't get me wrong, it was great to see the stands full last Friday night. There's no doubt that it contributed to the Bobcats' 6-0 victory. But don't the other teams deserve that same support?

Last week the football team drew plenty of fans and won a close one, while the soccer and volleyball teams drew small crowds and lost close matches. This was not a coincidence. The soccer team jumped all over Mill Valley at home, going up 2-0. But the Jaguars had a deeper bench and looked fresher in the last 15 minutes, when they scored three goals to win.

In those last 15 minutes the Bobcats really could have used a lift from their home crowd, perhaps some chanting and foot-stomping that might have spurred them to run harder even though their legs were burning.

The volleyball team ran into a similar wall at the Tonganoxie Invitational tournament last Saturday. The Lady Bobcats were 2-2 going into their last pool play match. A win would have sent them on to the next round, a loss and they'd head home. The Lady 'Cats played two ultra-close games against Great Bend, but lost both 23-25.

After playing four matches they had to be a bit worn out, mentally and physically. A crowd full of their classmates cheering them on would likely have given them enough energy to win the couple extra points they needed. Their parents did the best they could, but it wasn't quite enough.

I'm not sure what's keeping students away. The soccer team is outstanding, actually ranked fourth in the state, yet they draw far fewer fans than other ranked teams. The volleyball team is hovering around .500 and is exciting to watch -- the Lady Bobcats have the athleticism to hang with just about anyone. The other sports, cross country and golf, aren't exactly built for spectators, but the BLHS teams have been performing well enough this year that you'd think their classmates would be proud to come out and cheer for them once in a while .

Bonner Springs has an organized student fan club called the "Orange Crush" and maybe that's what BLHS needs. Some of the coaches have suggested names for such a club, like "The Green Machine." BLHS could also go with the "Mean Green," an homage to the University of North Texas. But, I like "Gang Green" the best.

Back in high school I played on an indoor soccer team that adopted that name. We had to provide our own uniforms, so we bought the cheapest T-shirts we could find, which happened to be a not-so-lovely shade of light green. We poked fun at our ugly unis by ironing on the name "Gang Green," which is, of course, a play on the word "gangrene," a not-so-lovely biological phenomenon.

It's a bit ironic, I guess, that later in life I would lose my fingers and toes to dry gangrene caused by meningitis. Trust me, anyone who knows anything about biology or medicine knows that "Gang Green" would be a truly fearsome name, as well as being pretty clever.

So, let's get on this, BLHS. Get a student fan club together and make some green shirts and banners. Make "Gang Green" a permanent fixture at Basehor-Linwood sporting events, and get out and support your hardworking Bobcats.

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