Tiger Nation wrestling with reputation after reactions from early football games

By Maddie Palmersheim

The student section is showing its school spirit this fall; however, criticism regarding sportsmanship has sparked controversy at recent games.

Several members of the section have witnessed particular behavior that has upset other schools as well as administration.

Senior Alexis Lewis said, “I went to a home game, and the student section kept cursing at the other team. We are also so disrespectful to the band, color guard and even our own players.”

While some attendants of the football games have reported exposure to inappropriate expressions, other members say that the claims have been dramaticized.

Student Body President Julie Jorgensen said, “I think it is taken out of context sometimes. I went to the Fort Dodge game, and I didn’t see half of the things that the Fort Dodge district claimed we did. However, there were times where I thought our word choices could have been better.”

The conflict continued outside the stadium as rival schools posted comments on social media claiming the CFHS student section lacked sportsmanship and was “disrespectful.”

Jorgensen said, “It is embarrassing to see how students from other schools talk about our high school, and it brings me to shock to see what we respond back with. No matter what side you are on in the argument, it’s just not professional to post rude things to other schools.”

Whether allegations contain authenticity or not, the predominantly negative reputation the student section has acquired from other schools has caused some to feel indifferent.

Senior and student senate member Olivia Habinck said, “I don’t like being known as the worst high school student section in Iowa. If you ask people from other high schools who are at games, they will tell you that we are rude and disrespectful to others. It is embarrassing.”

Despite negative connotations associated with the student section, several students have declared that any controversial behavior has been done for entertainment and comedic purposes.

Student section leader Briggs Collum said, “I don’t think someone would purposely swear and be serious at the games. It’s just a joke, if anything.” In agreement, senior Ben Fox added, “It is just the nature of the game, and it’s fun. If you don’t like how football games may go, you don’t have to come.”

Though not intentional, members of the community and other schools have often associated the student section with the school in it’s entirety, as well as administration.

Jorgensen said, “I believe that the student section has a definite responsibility in representing our school. Obviously, I don’t believe it is the only thing representing Cedar Falls High School, but we have a pretty big reputation that we must uphold.” Senior Andrew Smiley added, “No matter what, people are going to think the student section represents the whole school, but we actually don’t.”

In order to combat negative comments that have been made about the student section, one student believes the responsibility now lies within the upperclassmen leaders.

Habinck said, “The people in the crowd that are in MVP, student senate or leadership should step up. Also, the leaders of Tiger Nation need to be more positive than negative at games.”

Though changes in the attitudes of student section members may help, others suggest to choose one’s seat wisely at the games.

Upperclassmen Hayden Clausen said, “If you do not like what has been claimed to happen in the student section, don’t sit there. If you just want to come and watch the players, there are thousands of seats in the Dome. You can sit wherever you want.”

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