The Absence of Friday Night Lights
In the absence of Friday night Cougar Football, the amount of school spirit has diminished at Pulaski County High School.
Due to the postponement of fall football, many students feel school spirit has fizzled out. Madelyn Aust states, “I feel it [school spirit] definitely has because people don't have something to feel united about and to come together to support our school.” The lack of spirit week and theme days have left students feeling empty during the week.
As PCHS students drive by the football field on their way to and from school, they are reminded of the blinding lights of a Cougar football game. When regular participants of the student section were asked about the absence of Friday football games, many stated they missed dressing up for each night’s theme and cheering on the team. “Last year I attended every game, and now I have nothing to look forward to on Fridays,” stated senior Grace Bailey.
Attendance rate of the games could be affected by playing in a different season. Grace Bailey feels less students will attend the games due to all fall sports being played during football season while Kelsey Hancock believes everyone misses football and will be excited to attend the games. Despite the upcoming cold weather, every student surveyed was excited for the possibility of Friday night lights.
When asked about how school spirit has been affected by the postponement of the football season, players agreed that something was missing this fall. “Every Friday night just feels empty now. Whatever I am doing, I just stop and think about being under the lights playing,” stated Drew Dalton. Players miss seeing the spirit shirts and team gear in the hallways on game days.
The football players of Pulaski County were disappointed about their season being moved, but they will not let that stop them from having a successful season. The players believe the extra time will be beneficial to their team by allowing their new coach to get acclimated to the team and giving them extra time to strength train. Senior Clay Phillips commented, “we just hired our new head coach. It will give him time to transform this program.” The players believe Coach Dixon will have them ready to play under any weather conditions. Cooper Dunnigan states the team is “ready to come out with guns-a-blazing.”
How do band members and cheerleaders feel about not being able to support the football team this fall? A member of the color guard, Greta Peterson said, “I have a lot of free time which is taken up by homework but I’d much rather be at practice.” Many band members miss not being able to see each other as often because they are not constantly practicing for games.
Football fans are worried that COVID will affect attendance rates. Senior Julian Cregger is worried that “some people don't want to deal with restrictions… and some people don't want to be exposed.” Cheerleader Alex Turner feels “COVID will still be spreading if we do not have a vaccine at that point and some people may not want to attend due to possible extensive protocols.”
Even if attendance is lower, students plan to show their support for their team. Cheerleader Rachel Hudson states, “I am excited to finally start cheering again, and being able to support our Cougar football team.” Students are ready for Cougar football to return along with the activities that go with it such as homecoming and senior night.