By Libby Mislan ’17
To some, 2013 may seem like a long time ago. Just try to think back to a time when the number one song was “Thrift Shop” by Macklemore and “The Hunger Games: Catching Fire” had just premiered. For seniors, however, these past four years have flown by. It seems just like yesterday that we were nervously walking through the main doors for the first time. It’s crazy to think that in three short months, we will be confidently walking out those same doors, and into our futures.
Around this time four years ago, the varsity boys basketball team went on a magical post-season run. It was unexpected and the excitement in the community was palpable. Looking back on my high school years, I can honestly say that attending those post-season games were some of the best sports memories that I have. Jumping around in a packed student section,with no elbow room, cheering for our fellow golden bears was a unifying experience. I’ll never forget standing in a line out the door to buy tickets and t-shirts for the games or being in the Schottenstein center during the state championship game and looking around in awe at the sea of black and gold in the not one, but two, student sections filled to the brim with expectant fans. Players like Kevin Vannatta and Danny Hummer were celebrities around school and even though they ended up losing the state championship game in overtime, that team and the excitement around them is still remembered as one of the best in Upper Arlington history.
This year’s varsity boys basketball team is starting to have a similar feel to the team from four years ago. With all-star players like Dane Goodwin and Max Martz and a stellar record, I know that the community is anxiously awaiting the start of the post-season, hoping for another miracle run. As a senior, I’m hoping for one last chance to stand in the front of a student section, wearing my black and gold, and cheer for a dominant team while freshman, like I was just four years ago, are hoping for a chance to join in on the fun and make memories of their own.
Whether this year’s basketball team ends up winning states or losing in the first round, I think one key thing to take away from the team’s state-runner-up run four years ago was the size of the student sections. People couldn’t buy their tickets fast enough. As athletes start into the postseason for winter sports and the regular season for spring sports, as a school, we should make a focused effort to show more spirit at important games for all of the teams at the high school. While it’s amazing that we had so much spirit four years ago, I’ve attended and played in many big-time games since, including state championships, with empty student sections. In many cases, the opposing team would have further to drive but have a much larger and louder fan base. I don’t know about you, but for me that’s kind of embarrassing. From what I witnessed four years ago, I know that UA students have it in them to show their golden bear pride. I hope that with the remainder of the year, we can come together, maybe as the last time for seniors, and cheer on our classmates in jam-packed student sections, wearing our black and gold and screaming loud.