Since the summer there has been a lot of talk about the lack of school spirit at Morris Hills. Many students thought that this year, however, would be different. The “Hills Gang Movement,” created by Ryan Sudol, is an initiative that was created in hopes of increasing the school spirit of students and even faculty. Over the summer Sudol posted a video on Youtube about how Morris Hills was lacking school spirit, and how he wanted to start a movement to increase school spirit. He encouraged everyone to come out to the Hills Vs. Knolls football game to kickstart his Hills Gang Movement. Sudol had high hopes that the student body would pull through and support the sports teams of Morris Hills. The year started started off on a high note with the Hills Vs. Knolls Friday night lights football game, but since then, school spirit has seemed to die down again. Will the movement continue or will it just be another unsuccessful attempt at changing school spirit?
Sudol said that he “wanted to end the [last] school year with a bang. The thing that inspired me to do it was that no one went to the Homecoming Game last year and that kind of made me angry. I kind of wanted to introduce [the Hills Gang Movement], so that is why I made the video the week before the first football game of the season.” With over 2,200 views, Ryan’s video quickly spread around the whole school. Many, faculty included, have seen his Hills Gang Movement video. The seven minute video included a motivational speech that encouraged students to become involved with the school and all the amazing activities that come along with it. An abundance of students became inspired and driven to improve the school’s spirit, which created a much more fun school environment. As a result, football games, homecoming, and Battle of the Classes all suddenly seemed to have more of an attendance… all due to the Hills Gang Movement creator himself.
Sudol does believe that his video helped increase the spirit at school, but unfortunately he believes that “in all honesty after the first two to three weeks of the athletic season, it all died down.” Even though the school is more enthusiastic than it was originally, more support for our school teams is needed. “Even though it did dull down,” Sudol added, “there are many more people now that care about athletic programs at our school than before.” Sudol suggests that each individual should, “tweet, talk to your friends, [or use] word of mouth. Go to the games just to show people that, ‘Hey this is fun to come to!’ Social media is a great way [to get the word around], especially since social media is what started this whole thing.” As for Sudol’s popular videos, he plans to start posting again once the Winter Season starts up again.
Many may believe that having big crowds and screaming fans will not affect the outcome of the game but, they are mistaken. Casarah Morales, senior captain of the Morris Hills Girls Varsity Soccer Team, believes that having a bigger crowd creates a positive vibe and gives the players energy and motivation to give their all. Morales stated that “[she] performs the best when the crowd is continuously cheering and getting involved. The cheering gives [Morales] and [her] teammates more energy and confidence.”
If we want to create a better environment and atmosphere for our athletes, we should support them and attend all their games, not just the Hills Vs. Knolls games. Zach Jackson, senior and Morris Hills Boys Varsity basketball player, said, “I prefer to have bigger crowds in the gym because it gets my adrenaline going.” He believes that having bigger crowds makes him perform better because he feels like he is playing for his school and that drives him to play harder. Evidently, crowds and supportive fans do make a difference. Our fellow student athletes work hard to positively represent the athletic programs at Morris Hills. In return, students and faculty of Morris Hills should attend as many sporting events as possible to cheer on their athletes. It is apparent that big audiences encourage athletes to give it their all and having students and faculty in the crowd is a good representation of what the athletes are playing for. They are playing for the name on the front of their uniforms. The least we can do is support them and motivate them to play their best and win games.
Now that winter sports are right around the corner, we as a school should make an effort to attend sporting events and really create a movement.