Chapman needs you, the sixth man

Sport Editor, Julien Solomita, implores students to take more of an interest in sports and to support our athletes who deserve more respect from their fellow students.

Julien Solomita, Sports Editor

For a small school, Chapman holds its own. Among the prestigious academic programs in numerous fields at our Orange campus, the athletics program is small, but it deserves more respect.

The performances of the teams, especially this season, warrant more support, but still the number of people who attend sporting events is sparse. The spectating experience is very underwhelming when only a handful of people scatter throughout the stands at home games. Our Division III program is nothing like the experience of a Division I game, but it is just as important for students to support their athletes.

I don’t want this to be misconstrued as the sports editor preaching to everyone about watching sports. And I can see how it may seem that way, but I think people who haven’t gone to watch the Panthers don’t know exactly what they’re missing.

I’m just trying to illuminate the fact that while student-athletes compete for their teams, they also represent the school as a whole. For fellow students, cheering on your team every once in a while is appropriate, and it’s a special experience.   Sure, it’s not USC vs. Oregon at the Coliseum with over 90,000 face-painted fans tailgating for hours prior while ESPN broadcasts the game across the nation, but you knew that coming to Orange. Chapman has a humble athletics program, but each team puts in a tremendous amount of work to be at its best.

The NCAA playoffs are beginning now, so the athletes could use some help from their comrades.

Everyone has his or her own schedule. Everyone is busy. And athletes at Chapman are no different. They mostly compete because they love the sport they are involved in. Other times they play because that sport has been their life for years and it’s all they know. Just like how film students make films, and journalists write stories. They are pursuing greatness in their fields.

What should be understood here is that you, the students at Chapman, are directly correlated to any and every player wearing Panther cardinal’s successes and failures. You are the school they are representing out on the courts, fields and pools.

So why not return the favor? When an athlete sees their fellow classmates out there showing support at games, it goes a long way.

It makes it all worth it to them. It also becomes part of the college experience that you will be able to look back on.

If you’re a fan of sports, why not go to the occasional game to enjoy some action and root for your school. If you’re not, I highly suggest trying it. For most of you, once you leave Chapman, you won’t have the same opportunity again. Go watch your school’s team while you still can.

Grab a group of friends and take a seat while the Panthers are out there fighting for another win. When Chapman wins a title after a long and exhausting season, don’t you want to be there to see it?

Have something to say? Tweet the writer @JulienSolomita

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