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From the Bleachers

By Staff
Sports fans are essential
By Adam Prestridge
In every sporting event they are a must.
No, I don’t mean basketballs, baseball bats or gloves.
Fans.
They are needed.
Even if they don’t realize it or their child doesn’t like it, fans are an absolute necessity at sporting functions. They are appreciated by both the players and coaches.
Fans help keep a team’s spirit up when things are going well and especially when things aren’t going well.
Fans help get other fans, parents and the student bodies worked up into a frenzy when a good play is performed, or a bad officiating call is made. Fans make sporting events.
With local high school baseball and softball teams flexing their muscles against the competition, ask yourself: Am I giving my child’s team enough support? Am I a good alumnus? Have I supported my local high schools? Have I given my favorite team needed support?
Attending games, I’ve noticed that fans participating at high school sporting events is down from previous years. Once football season is over, most supporters of local high school teams forget the other sports played throughout the year. Gates decline during basketball season and continue to slide during baseball and softball season. And forget volleyball and track, the stands are usually full of parents and participants.
Yes, there’s still the same fans that frequent gymnasiums and fill bleachers each year. Some have children slapping home runs or snagging line drives, others are dedicated alumni who stay involved after they have moved on. But where is everyone else?
Where’s the student body?
Where’s the support?
Maybe the team that fans have supported for years isn’t doing so hot this season. Or maybe they are in a rebuilding year. Take it from me, talent is on the rise among many young athletes in Atmore and surrounding areas, which make up the local high school teams.
Escambia County High School’s baseball and softball teams both have the capabilities and the leadership to continue their seasons well into the playoffs. Escambia Academy and Northview’s boys and girls are also starting to heat it up on the diamond and could make runs at the state playoffs as well.
Don’t forget track and field. Atmore has some of the best speed and distance runners in the state and several individual state titles should be expected out of area schools.
See fans, baseball, softball and track and field teams in the area need your help so they can assure a spot in the history books for themselves.
So pay the $3 or $4 it costs to attend a high school sporting event. Not only does doing so help encourage the players on the field to do better with your cheers, but the funds also help keep the sports operating for future athletes to enjoy.
You never know, maybe the extra voice in the crowd could motivate a baseball player to rip the game-winning double or a long distance runner to muster up the extra strength to finish the last mile and claim the title for his or her school.
So come out to the games and cheer on your favorite teams.
Adam Prestridge is publisher of the Atmore Advance. He can be reached at 368-2123 or email him at adam.prestridge@atmoreadvance.com