Spirited atmosphere enhances game experience


Passionate Coppell fans throw up baby powder at the beginning of the game to show their spirit, leaving a smoky effect. Photo by Rinu Daniel.

Passionate Coppell fans throw up baby powder at the beginning of the game to show their spirit, leaving a smoky effect. Photo by Rinu Daniel.Excited Coppell students dress up in Garland band uniforms to intimidate the other team. Photo by Rowan Khazendar.

By Jordan Bickham
Staff Writer

After a powerful chant of “I believe that we will win,” the view of Coppell High School’s student section was masked by an explosion of white smoke.  As baby powder floated through the air, the rest of the stadium looked in the direction of Coppell’s student section.   Some watched the event in awe, while others looked over in annoyance.

Coppell has recently become known around the area for its passionate student section after the Allen game on Sept. 28.  The students have performed a few stunts already this season that have surprised Coppell supporters and other schools alike.  To start off the season, CHS students dressed as hillbillies at the Longview game.  They then dressed up in Garland band uniforms at the Garland game.

More recently, everyone in the student section at the Allen game obtained white baby powder and threw it up in the air at the end of the “I Believe” chant, with an effect similar to a smoke bomb.

Although some may view the students as crossing the line with their displays of spirit, many, including administration, support the students’ excitement and passion.

“One thing I have to say about the students this year is that participation and school spirit has probably been the best in the stands since I have been here, and I have been here eight years now,” assistant principal Sean Bagley said.  “They [the students] have had more school spirit as a group and it has been appropriate.”

The students supporting their team as a whole was the exact goal student section “leaders,” such as seniors Coleman Armes, Seth Slover, and Austin Gardner, had in mind.

After watching the seniors of the year before get reprimanded by administration  and the grades being segregated, Armes wanted to eliminate the separation and focus on supporting the team.

“I was not playing football anymore, I quit the last day of junior year just because I got burned out on it.  So I wanted to do something still involving football since a lot of my friends play it,” Armes said.  “I felt like the student section needed improvement and that it could be a really fun thing that could bring the community aspect back to Coppell.”

Even though the students seem to be in complete chaos, the “leaders” of the section have gone to great lengths to create, at least, organized chaos within the student section.

Excited Coppell students dress up in Garland band uniforms to intimidate the other team. Photo by Rowan Khazendar.

“There is a guy with a dry erase board who writes everything up there like, ‘be quiet’ or ‘louder,’ which I think is very cool.  [The “leaders”] remind me of, if you have ever been to an A&M game, a yell leader that makes it more organized and gives the section leadership,” Bagley said.  “The students in the section follow them instead of doing their own thing and being disrespectful.”

The “leaders” also created a Facebook group at the beginning of the year that includes about 200 students from various grade levels.  Members of the group can post ideas for showing school spirit on the page.  The ideas are able to be communicated to every one, as well as finalized for future games.

But while the displays of support at the games have remained appropriate, the reactions from students of either team on Twitter and other social media sites have not been as friendly.

“You just have to watch what you say.  While it is all fun and games, it can be taken too far, like with the kid from Allen saying that he wanted to bomb the student section,” junior Trent Armstrong said.  “But we were rude too saying things such as, ‘who cares, you guys lost.’”

Even with social media outlets allowing students to say what they want, the display of spirit at the games has been regulated to the point where fans can still show their support without getting in trouble.

From the viewpoint of an opposing school though, Coppell’s students seem to get out of line, sometimes giving Coppell a negative connotation.

“A positive aspect of [the student section] is that a lot of teams are intimidated to play at Coppell and it creates a loud environment,” Armstrong said. “But the whole rude and ‘taking things too far’ reputation is definitely not the goal.”

The student section’s passion can give Coppell a bad reputation, but the purpose of our exciting student section is not about the reputation, intimidating other teams, or going crazy.  The purpose of such an intense section was to connect students and re-create the family aspect of CHS.

“I feel like all grades are friendlier to each other this year as opposed to last year.  We wanted to welcome all four grades,” Armes said.  “I did not want it to be about the grade levels.  I wanted it to be about one school cheering for our one team.”