United in Sport and Spirit

How Sports Unites our School


Trent Keene

Student section of the homecoming football game against Overfelt

“It’s really important that we stay connected through things that we love, like sports,” commented Flora Haverkamp (‘25), a member of the varsity field hockey team. Sports allow students to connect with their teammates, stay active, and relieve stress; they give students something to focus on other than schoolwork. At Willow Glen High, most students are involved with athletics in some way. Whether it means being a part of a team or being an unofficial cheerleader in the student section, sports allow our school to come together as a community.

Well over fifteen hundred students attend Willow Glen High School. Despite the large population of students, many teens struggle to connect with their peers. Sports give opportunities for those who have such difficulties to meet new people and form new friendships.

Students can join a team and meet people who have similar interests as them. Even if a student doesn’t want to play sports, they can attend games and sit with other students in the stands.

A large part of the sports culture at Willow Glen High is games and cheering on the teams. At football games, for example, students can come together and show their school spirit for the Rams. Elias Nixon (‘27), a member of the JV football team, explained how he believes football unites our school. “It gives an event for everyone to be there when they’re not forced to be,” he notes. “It’s something that they choose to be out there.” Those students who choose to attend football games can cheer on their peers in the student section. The student section involves chants, picture signs, and student section leaders who excite the crowd.

Student section leaders help students enjoy the game and allow them to feel as involved as the players. Many of the students who attend football games don’t particularly enjoy watching football. The student section allows students to enjoy the games. It brings together our school in a way that nothing else can; it allows students to feel connected and like they’re part of something special. At times, even students from other schools can be seen cheering on Willow Glen in the student section.

In addition to uniting the entire school, sports also bring together individual teammates. Teams help unite students who otherwise may have never even crossed paths. Finn West (‘26), who plays for the JV water polo team, commented on her experience with team bonding: “We have team dinners every week. Before each league game, we do a team dinner. It’s so nice, and everyone brings food. It’s a really good bonding experience.” Team bonding strengthens connections between players and helps them form friendships. Being close with teammates can also help with gameplay because it enhances communication and strengthens trust.

Sports have a special place at our school. They’re unique in their ability to unite our school community. From being on a team to rooting for the Rams at games, sports create bonds between students. When asked what comments they have on athletics, multiple students said that they’d like to urge their peers who are not involved with sports to try out for one. Joining a sport allows students to meet other people and form new friendships with their teammates. That paired with the opportunity to come together at games allows for our school to form a community.