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Boys Basketball Team Hopes to See More Students In Attendance

District Tournament Held at GCHS This Week
Kaydence Johnson
The boys basketball team is one of the top teams in the state and is hoping to get a chance to go after the state title for 2024.

The Great Crossing High School boys’ basketball team has started their season off strong with a 24-1 record. This is one of their best seasons in school history with a ranking as the top team in a state.  Led by head coach Steve Page, the team is determined and disciplined, with many players that work well together and can quickly adapt to a wide variety of playing styles.   But what is lacking is a large crowd of students in the bleachers cheering them on.  

Austin Haywood, athletic director/assistant principal at Great Crossing, believes one of the main reasons why there’s little to no students showing up to the basketball games is because of students’ busy schedules outside of school. Haywood explained, “I think kids are so busy with work and with other sports, it’s hard for them to find time to get to games.” 

I hope students make a commitment to pack The Kettle for those games and give us the home court advantage that is such a huge help. And…I’ll pay for EVERY Student who comes to those postseason games. So again, cost won’t be an issue for ANY STUDENT!!!!!

— Austin Haywood, GCHS athletic director

Two years ago, Haywood developed the GCHS MegaFan program as a way to increase student attendance.  Students can check in to games using a QR code and vie for a variety of prizes and a chance to be at the top of the weekly MegaFan leaderboard.  Haywood said, “We’ve tried to make it easy for students to get into games. We provided a specific student section location and provided the opportunities to earn points and rewards through Megafan.  Often we are able to provide free admission as well.” 

While many students have enjoyed the MegaFan program, it hasn’t had a huge impact on attendance.  Haywood stated, “To this point, attendance has not increased.  We hoped that by making entry free, students would come to more games.  In the past, we’ve done $1 tickets for certain games.  Those were always very well attended.”

While there are incentives to encourage more students at basketball games, it has been hard to fill the seats.  Since basketball is a winter sport, some students find it more difficult to motivate themselves to attend games.  Junior Annie Lawson believes that students have a larger workload for classes than at the start of the year, and it is keeping kids from attending basketball games. “I would say something that I think keeps kids from going to basketball games is the workload that students receive during school. At this point in the year, students are receiving more work from teachers than they do during football or baseball season. Due to the extra work, I feel as though kids are exhausted after school, or doing homework, so they stay home rather than go to the game.” 

Lawson also believes that the fact football stadiums are open air and outdoors also contributes to larger crowds.  Lawson explained, “Another reason that I go to football games is that I think they have a better vibe and they aren’t as loud as basketball games. The outdoor stadium makes for a better ambiance, and it reduces the amount of noise.” 

Jeremiah Godfrey is a senior starter for GCHS’s varsity basketball team, and he would love to see a packed house for games. Godfrey said, “I would say that our school spirit is low right now.  Kids just don’t feel it and I don’t understand why.”

Junior Olivia Noffsinger, however, very much enjoys attending basketball games.  “I think the basketball games are fun to attend, because they are very fast paced. A game gives me an opportunity to get out of the house and socialize with my friends, and it gives me a break away from my school work.”  

Godfrey said, “I would love to look up and see a full student section. A student section makes us more energetic. Hearing the yells from our friends makes us excited to play harder for our school.”

The Great Crossing Basketball team is hosting the 41st District Tournament this week, with the first game being scheduled for Tuesday, February 27th.   Haywood hopes to see many students in attendance to support our teams.   “I hope students make a commitment to pack The Kettle for those games and give us the home court advantage that is such a huge help. And…I’ll pay for EVERY Student who comes to those postseason games. So again, cost won’t be an issue for ANY STUDENT!!!!!”

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About the Contributors
Kaylynn Crump
Kaylynn Crump, Staff Reporter
Kaylynn Crump is a sophomore at Great Crossing High School. She is a member of the GCHS girls' soccer team and enjoys shopping, running, and spending time with her friends.
Kaydence Johnson
Kaydence Johnson, Staff Reporter
Kaydence Johnson is a junior at Great Crossing High School. This is her first year as a reporter for The Crossing Chronicle. She enjoys doing sport photography and plans to pursue a degree in photography. Her favorite drink is Dr.Pepper and loves to read.

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  • K

    Kristy JohnsonMar 5, 2024 at 11:43 am

    Wonderful article about this issue.

  • A

    Annette ManliefMar 5, 2024 at 11:16 am

    I’m saddened by low student turnout. Going to basketball games in high school was so much fun for me and my friends. I really hope attendance improves for the tournament.