Schools of Thought: Hello? Anyone out there?
Remember the time when you walked into a high school gymnasium when there was a boys basketball game going on and the stands were packed?
Or at the very least ,both sides of the bleachers, were opened?
That was a sight that greeted me Thursday night at Broadalbin-Perth High School when I walked into the gymnasium for a game against Queensbury. I was about a quarter of the way across the gymnasium on my way to the scorers’ table when I realized it wasn’t where it usually was.
Doing a quick scan of the gym, I found it on the opposite side, along with the team benches and a closed set of bleachers behind them.
Closed bleachers used to be unheard of during a boys basketball game, but by the end of the first half, I could see why. The Broadalbin-Perth fans that attended just about filled up the half of the bleachers on the B-P side. But after halftime, half of those fans didn’t seem to come back.
Where did they go? Did they suddenly remember they had something better to do?
Granted, Broadalbin-Perth didn’t always have the most raucous crowd in the area; that honor was usually bestowed upon the Gloversville Superfans, who didn’t seem so super during Friday night’s game against Glens Falls.
Actually, with the exception of about five students who tried to keep the tradition alive, clapping with latex gloves to make their claps seem louder, they were absent.
Even last season, that would have been unheard of.
I’ve heard the stories. I’ve been told the group is upset they were told there were a few chants they couldn’t use at games. Fine, come up with something else. There’s always a more clever chant out there. Apparently they also were told by a district official not to stomp on the new bleachers for fear they would crack.
Hopefully, the three cheerleaders who remain won’t ask the crowd to stomp its feet.
If not showing up is their way of protesting being asked not to do certain things, then the only people it’s hurting are the people wearing the Gloversville Dragons jerseys. It wasn’t so long ago that the Superfans filled about a quarter of the gym from the top to mere inches from the court.
They gave the old gym a personality all its own.
There were problems with the old gym, including its size as it was very small for a school Gloversville’s size and the lighting wasn’t so great. Now, don’t get me wrong, I think the new gym is a beautiful facility, but if the old gym was too small, this one is too big. And without the Superfans to fill an entire section, Gloversville is having just as much trouble filling its gym as Broadalbin-Perth is, to the point where some in Gloversville were wondering if only half the bleachers should be rolled out.
I find it interesting that of the three Foothills Council schools, the most exciting crowd is in Johnstown, and the Sir Bills are 2-11. Even during that 100-27 thrashing by Scotia-Glenville, the Purple Reign – while muted – was still there being supportive.
I didn’t see any such support from the students Thursday in Broadalbin and Friday in Gloversville. Did both communities have something better going on those two nights? I personally didn’t know of anything.
I also shouldn’t be wondering if I’m going to see Superfans tonight at the boys basketball game between Gloversville and Johnstown. It should be a no-brainer that both groups will be hollering at each other all night, but suddenly I’m not so sure.
I’m not sure the five Superfans from Friday night can go toe-to-toe with the Purple Reign. Maybe the rest of the Superfans will rediscover their school pride and give those five a hand.
I’ll bet their team will appreciate it.
Mike Zummo is a sportswriter for The Leader-Herald. We invite your feedback on this or any other sports-related topic. E-mail your opinions or ideas to us at firstname.lastname@example.org.