Student section club looks to revamp traditions, further unify LZHS activities


Photo by Danna Tabachnik

The Student Section cheers during a kickoff against Warren. This year’s Student Section had one leader and several helpers, but future Sections will have approximately ten spread out over a greater number of sports and activities.

The Student Section will kick off its first year as an official club at the high school in the fall of 2017. The club will be offering new game day experiences for students while also changing the leadership structure from previous years in an effort to support a wider variety of activities.

The new Student Section club will have approximately eight leaders who will work together to support every sport or production no matter the season. According to Sarah Blase, senior, the previous single-leader format became too much for one person to handle, and therefore was in need of a change.

“I know for multiple years, the one person couldn’t do it all because there were too many events that needed to be recognized,” Blase said. “The Section is now moving from passing it down from one person to the next every year to a club because the ultimate goal is to encompass the whole school and go to everything in order to support everyone.”

Those who were interested in becoming Student Section leaders were asked to fill out an application and will undergo an interview process before a panel of students. However, Riley Pemstein, junior, believes there is a more representative way to decide who will be in charge for the upcoming school year.

“If only a handful of students choose the leader, that is not going to be accurate enough because there won’t be only a handful of students in the section. I think choosing should be open to every single student in a vote so that everyone gets a say rather than a few,” Pemstein said. “If you get a full school vote, there is no question in leadership because you can’t argue with a vote since the people want or don’t want that leader and there is no bias.”

While the process of choosing leaders is still in its early stages, Blase points out that the main reason for so many leaders is to diversify what events will receive support from the section.

“The leaders will each take some sort of angle so if one wants takes football and basketball, another would be okay with doing cross country and track, and that is why we want a bigger group of leaders to give us more diverse options,” Blase said.

Though the support of lower-attendance sports and events is a main priority, Pemstein argues that it will still be difficult to draw crowds.

“I feel like the minor sports may get some more attention, but I really don’t think attendance will jump up that much,” Pemstein said. “Maybe an extra ten people may go, and maybe that’s what they’re looking for, but it’s not going to be packed.”

With the gap in sporting attendance in mind, the new Student Section club has created an incentive system in hopes students will go to a wider variety of games and events, according to Blase.

“The system depends on what events you go to and how many events you go to,” Blase said. “So say if you go to a really popular football game, you may only get one or two points, but if you go to a girls swim meet you would get more because not as many people go to that. Points can win prizes too, like possibly getting your name called first at graduation or a better parking spot or t-shirts. We want to give kids a reason to go and support other people.”

The intention to unify the student body is also recognized in the leadership application, as it allows anyone from any grade to apply or join the club. There is a membership form that is required as well as a $25 fee, but Blase believes it is worth the extra cost for the benefits in return.

“With that money you get two t-shirts, tailgates before home football games, and some of the games you may get better seating within the first few rows,” Blase said. “Seating will not necessarily be based on age anymore, but instead, people who join the club will have a better opportunity for good seats than those who do not.”

While the new club is making several changes that may be challenged, Blase believes that ultimately the club will grow and be extremely successful.

“I hope when I come back for a break that when I walk into a game, event, or play that I see a big group of students,” Blase said. “We just want to make sure we’re recognizing more students because no matter what you do, everyone is putting in hard work. We want to be a cohesive school and acknowledge everyone because everyone represents Lake Zurich High School, not just a few sports teams.”