Student section do’s and don’ts

The+DHS+student+section+cheers+as+the+boys%27+team+wins+against+Bonner+Springs+on+Dec+20.

Hayley Moss

The DHS student section cheers as the boys' team wins against Bonner Springs on Dec 20.

Hayley Moss, Editor-in-Chief

     The resurgence of a large and loud student section at De Soto High School basketball games has changed the atmosphere a lot. More people are wanting to attend games to cheer on their peers and engage in a higher level of school spirit. But as the season goes on, there has been some conflicts between administration and the student section as to what is simply school spirit, and what is just disrespectful. 

     Since both administration and the basketball teams want to continue seeing an enthusiastic student section, rules have been laid out to eliminate any further misconceptions as to what is appropriate to chant during games.

    “Cheers that specifically target an individual from an opposing school can potentially escalate emotions amongst students and parents trying to enjoy the game. That could potentially lead to negative aspects taking place off the court. Our student body represents our school and town and the administration at DHS wants that representation to be positive and respectful,” said DHS Athletics Director Ryan Johnson. 

     While these rules are in place to prevent any negative consequences, some students feel that the student section is being restricted too much.

     “Certain chants obviously should not be allowed, but there also should be more of a leniency as to what can be chanted,” senior Adam Kowynia said. “Obviously we have no intention to make fun of the other team or player we chant at, but getting into their heads can distract them which increases our chance of winning if they’re distracted.”

     Other students feel as if the limitations decrease the amount of school spirit the student section has.

     “With the restrictions the administration has put on the student section, the energy lacks during games, and our student section is not to the same level as other schools,” said senior varsity player Colton Jones.

     Yet Johnson believes school spirit can still be achieved without the negative cheers.

     “Cheer for our team in a positive and enthusiastic way. Cheer for things that our team is currently doing on the court like the ‘D…D…D …Defense’ chant,” Johnson said. “Refrain from any degrading or negative cheers towards individuals from opposing schools and especially the officials.”

     While students have tried to bring the football atmosphere to basketball games, some feel that it is not the same with all the restrictions.

     “The students don’t have as much say as to what can be allowed at basketball games in contrast to what was chanted freely at football games,” Kowynia said. “We were also allowed to boo at the football games which has been removed as well.”

     Jones believes more restrictions have been put in place because the game is inside compared to outside, where everything that is said can be heard.

     Overall, there seems to be a disconnect as to what is showing school support and what is just disrespectful.

     “I think all chants are appropriate as long as they aren’t bringing up personal information about a player and their family,” Jones said. “Trash talk plays a large role in all sports and without it, there is no energy in the game, unless a highlight play is made.”

     Johnson wants to make it clear that the following chants have are not appropriate for games: 

  • chanting “Hellen Keller” at the officials
  • mooing at officials
  • calling players from other schools out by their name during the game, like during free throws.

    To clear up any more misconceptions, the KSHSAA Sportsmanship/Citizenship Manual has outlined that the following behaviors are unacceptable: “Any non-supportive chants, cheers or actions which are directed toward the opposing team; chants or actions which single out individuals; fans or cheerleaders reading newspapers, turning their backs, making disrespectful actions, etc. during introduction of opponents or shooting of free throws; yelling, waving, etc., during opponent’s free throws; derogatory/disrespectful yells, chants, songs, gestures, including ‘goodbye,’ ‘you let the whole team down,’ ‘air ball,’ ‘scoreboard,’ ‘you can’t do that,’ ‘this is our house’ at a visitor event, ‘dribble-dribble-pass,’ ‘bong-bong-bong-whooo’ while opposing team has ball and other such expressions directed toward opponents. Booing or heckling an official’s decision; criticizing the merits of officiating; displays of temper and arguing with an official’s call; derogatory remarks toward the official, coach constantly questioning calls.”