I am a senior at Greenbrier High School and one of the biggest fans of our basketball team. I was extremely frustrated with News-Times Sports Editor Mike Howells column on Feb, 19, Two teams lost, but the fans were the ones who blew it (http://www.newstimesonline.com/stories/021903/spo_124-2497.shtml).
This is the only article from the entire 2002-2003 basketball season about the Greenbrier Wolfpack fans, and it is disappointing that it portrays them in such a negative way. Our efforts all year to support the team in such a positive, uplifting way seem to have been ignored. Some of these efforts include the way the male fans were painted green and the females were painted gold for many games, or how when the team played Statesboro away on a Tuesday night, cars full of student fans were there to support their team. We showed great sportsmanship!
The game Howell wrote about was extremely disappointing, but not because of what happened among the student fans. Since he was not sitting in the student section with us, please allow me to highlight some events of the evening from our viewpoint. During pre-game warm-up, we stood up in the bleachers as we have done at every game this year. The law enforcement officers from the Richmond County Board of Education told us to sit down. When one student respectfully asked why we could not stand up, the officer barked back at him, threatening to throw him out of the game. Early into the first half, another student was actually escorted out of the gym. Why? Because he laughed!
We were dealing with many emotions during this game. Our team did not play as well as we knew they could, which was certainly disappointing to all GHS fans. And, there were many biased calls by the referees that caused our fans to yell or hang their heads in response. This was possibly our last game of the season, and we wanted to see our team have a fair chance at a win.
The march out began when two students ran down on the side of the court yelling. After they were kicked out, the other students followed. I am one of the few students who stayed to watch the rest of the game. I was neither embarrassed nor disappointed in what the other fans did. A couple of students did get out of hand, and they have been punished by the administration at school, but I do not think that it can be said that they let the team down. I have talked with members of the team that have said that they were proud of their fans. Every team should have fans like this fans that are willing to fight for you, one player commented.
I respectfully say that if Howell never got out of hand in high school at some sporting event, then perhaps he was not an enthusiastic fan. Hats off to the winners, but hats off also to the Greenbrier Wolfpack basketball team for such a great season! Thumbs up to every fan who feels so passionately about his team that he is willing to stand up for them in a situation like this one.
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