OPINION: Spring Sports Need Support All Season Long


Jonathan Snover

The students supported the Westside boys soccer team during the 2018 state championship game.

Sports are full of moments. This season, Westside beat Creighton Prep in what was arguably a surprising 37-2 result, they advanced to the state basketball tournament on a game-winning, buzzer-beating shot that ended up on SportsCenter and junior Jaxon Henderson hit off a walk-off to end an eight game winning streak held by the second-ranked team in the state of Nebraska.

What’s the difference between the first two moments and the third one?

Westside is generally known throughout the state as having one of the best support streams. Whether it be the students, who were recently named the Student Section State Champions by OmahaHSSports, or the community, the turnout is always substantial at football and basketball games. The gym has been packed to the point where the doors have been shut, and the students took up two and a half sections at Omaha Benson for this year’s game with Omaha Creighton Prep.

But those fans are generally nowhere to be found during the spring. According to FiveThirtyEight, the five major sports in America are football, basketball, hockey, baseball and soccer. Two of those are played in the spring at the high school level, but they are not playing in front of large crowds. It is understandable that Phelps Field is built for thousands of people, and, given the history, that is not the expectation. But when there are an estimated 150-200 people at a rivalry soccer match, seeing a problem is understandable. Junior Jack Bush tweeted about his recognition about the support for Monday’s match with Creighton Prep.

“Shoutout [to] that student section tonight,” Bush said. “Need that support all year.”

When a player is raving about an attendance of roughly 200 people overall, is it not necessary to make this argument? It doesn’t have to be for every match or every game, but, by showing up at state tournament games and matches, the community shows that the problem is not that it doesn’t care. So, why not extend that care into the regular season?