Crowding in gym causes student section controversy

By Alex Brown, staff writer

Many students look forward to the basketball games that are hosted throughout the week and the main event that takes place on Fridays. On most fridays the Boys Varsity and Girls Varsity’s take the court before and after each other at home. As the students watch the games, some are sitting, some are standing, some can’t even sit in the student section due to the population growth of students.

“We know it’s tight, we’re dealing with it, we just need to be spirited,” said Principal Jeremy Wright.

With the population of Plainwell High School slightly larger this year, students are being forced into the band,s section and it is causing conflict.

“Band students are students as well, and that is why we have them placed in the student section. As a staff we believe it’s important for the students to connect and socialize,” said Wright.

Some students complain that the pep band is too loud and many others believe they make the atmosphere more enthusiastic and fun.

“I absolutely love it, It helps the atmosphere, I know my players complain about the noise, but they wouldn’t want a quiet gym,” said Girls Varsity Basketball Coach Tim Rieman.

Plainwell is known for having one of the biggest and loudest pep bands around, and it has won several awards.

“The goal of the Plainwell Pep Band is to provide an exciting and enjoyable experience for those who choose to be a part of it and to support the Varsity Mens and Womens Basketball teams at Friday night doubleheaders,” says band teacher David Hepinstall.

“Our goal has been to provide the best possible home court advantage for our team that we can create,” he said.

“I think they’re the most enthusiastic part of the student section. If they didn’t play at the games, we wouldn’t be as loud and supportive, it would be boring,” says Matt Root ‘18.

Plainwell administration is focused on a positive atmosphere, and on bringing the student body together, as well as showing good sportsmanship.

“After the dramatic win against Paw Paw right before the holiday break in December, Coach Klein shook hands with Paw Paw and walked straight to the students and to me to thank us for our support,” said Hepinstall.

“He shook my hand and it was clear his thanks was directed towards all of the students, band and non-band.  You never forget moments like that.  Both games were thrilling in their own right that night and to have the coach come and thank you personally puts the cherry on top,” he said.

It takes effort from both band students and Plainwell student section. The student section might give the Trojan basketball players an advantage. The louder the student are, the harder it is for the other team.

“With the noise and excitement the band brings, it makes the special moments even more special, it wouldn’t be the same without the noise and support from our pep band,” says Bree Colyer ‘18

“The band does get in the way, but I love them playing during the games, they’re actually hype,” says Payton Gilmore ’18.

Wright and others are working to determine a solution that is best for the band, the players, and students attending the games.

“The band is very encouraging, just during timeouts sometimes it’s a little too loud,” says Hayley Hawkes ‘17.

“During the week games, when the pep band isn’t there, it’s so quiet, you could hear a pin drop. They definitely make home games the place to be at,” says Aiden Brown ‘20.