School Spirit High Entering Fall Season, Survey Shows

Through challenging seasons, heartbreaking losses and state championships, Sidwell students have shown their commitment to the athletic program. Students are now preparing for another year of spirit, ready to spur Quaker teams to success.

Due to the amount of competitive, entertaining teams at Sidwell, there is no shortage of teams to support. When asked about which teams they were most excited about, 70 surveyed students named 18 different teams. The most popular answers were Boys’ and Girls’ Basketball, both teams which are riding high on championship wins. On March 6, Sidwell athletes from these two teams hoisted state championship trophies in front of hundreds of students who showed up to cheer them on. This day was a clear indication of students’ commitment to their peers, and there is no sign of this support slowing.

74% of respondents plan on showing up to games whenever they can, and 100% of students plan on attending at least some games. All athletes will have significant fan support regardless of what team they play on.

No. 1 ranked Girls’ Basketball coach Tamika Dudley shared her experience being on the receiving end of the fan support: “It is so important because it makes the players and coaches feel supported, gives great energy to the team and creates the feel of a community.”

Fans are eager to show out this year, but promoting athletics is still an important part of fostering school spirit.

Social media plays an essential role in the promotion and coverage of games and the establishment of an excited and motivated fanbase. Sidwell has an official athletics account on multiple social media platforms that aims to do exactly that. The account mostly posts photographs to celebrate Sidwell athletes and event announcements encouraging students to support the school’s teams.

Despite the school’s efforts, 70% of respondents see a need for improvement in the content that is posted to social media accounts.

“I would love to see more equal representation of different sports teams across the board,” sophomore Nora Tsai said. “It’s really important to give recognition to the people and coaches and teams putting in the work and effort even if they aren’t ‘winners’ on paper,” she added.

Many students echoed this sentiment, calling for a more equal distribution of coverage regardless of a team’s success or popularity.

Students also see a need for a change in the type of content that is posted. Many requested more in-game highlights, live coverage of games and individual recognition for athletes.

The school’s account is far from the only source of school spirit on social media.

[Fan presence] is so important because it makes the players and coaches feel supported, gives great energy to the team and creates the feel of a community.

— Tamika Dudley

The majority of teams have individual accounts that spotlight certain games and provide a closer look at the players. These accounts often become popular for their genuine and relatable content, including informal videos of practices and team bonding outings, which encourages fans to not only interact with the posts, but to also attend games.

Going into the 2022-2023 school year, school spirit seems to be at an all-time high. While Sidwell teams benefit greatly from strong school spirit, the fans also receive something in return. Not only is it fun to be in the middle of a screaming fan section, but 91% of students also said they felt a sense of identity when attending games.

While Sidwell’s fanbase is an important boost to athletes during games, students’ unwavering support creates a strong community of school spirit that everyone can participate in.