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A new presence brings spirit to the court

Beaver Brigade seeks to increase fan participation at basketball games

Meagen Tajalle, Features Editor
Originally published February 10, 2016

(Photo courtesy of Ed Tanaka)The Beaver Brigade waving their BHS flags at Ballard's home game against Ingraham.

(Photo courtesy of Ed Tanaka)

The Beaver Brigade waving their BHS flags at Ballard’s home game against Ingraham.

The newly formed Beaver Brigade, a club that supports and promotes athletic events, particularly basketball games, is making strides to increase fan turnout and participation. The group has selected themes for some games such as jersey night or tropical night, letting fans know about these through social media.

New head coach Mike Broom approached his Teacher’s Assistant, senior Owen Leonard, about the idea, and from there Leonard brainstormed strategies to increase participation, and created a Twitter account to spread the word. “Our presence on social media is just an easier way to connect to people. We had to become certified [by BHS] to be a club and be on the announcements, but we didn’t need any certification to tweet themes for games and ideas like that,” Leonard said.

Broom is happy with the increased participation and positive atmosphere. “I feel like it involves the entire school. Home games can be more exciting when the band is there, the cheerleaders are there,” he said. “The game is just a part of it.”

The players are noticing the difference as well, and appreciate it. “[The Beaver Brigade] impacts the way everybody else in the stands is, and I think that impacts the way we play,” Varsity player Shay Curcuruto said. “It’s special, nobody else has it.”

The group not only shows up to support the team here at school, but has also traveled to away games on multiple occasions.

JV coach and Ballard alum Brad Baker thinks it gives the team a homecourt advantage. “I think anytime you play in a league as competitive as ours any advantage you can get is good,” he said in a phone interview. He’s noticed that the student section has been almost completely full at recent games, which wasn’t the case in previous years.

Leonard, who himself has played on the baseball team since his freshmen year, knows how much fan support can make a difference. “[Students] should really be on board with showing support for their school teams because it’s not a popularity contest or anything. Anyone can join, anyone can come support a team,” he said. “Whether you play a sport or don’t, you should know how good it feels when people are cheering for you.”

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A new presence brings spirit to the court