An echo at the game

Empty Black Hole.

Empty Black Hole.

Mireya Torrero

On a rainy Tuesday night in early December, the final note of the National Anthem was hit by two Holland High students, standing courtside in a packed “Dutch Dome” on the south side of town. The Black Hole, filled from courtside to the top row of the bleachers, erupted in anticipation for the tip off. West Ottawa students were fighting in the Black Hole for a good view of the court, pressed shoulder to shoulder, all the way from the aisle to the edge of the bleachers. Midway through the third quarter, the Black Hole had so many people in it that the weight of everyone overcame the bleachers and snapped a row of bleachers off of the grandstand. That same night at the exact same time, the section labelled “The Black Hole” in the West Ottawa gymnasium stood empty during a home game for the West Ottawa girls basketball team against Holland. An echo of the basketball bouncing could clearly be heard in the WO gymnasium.


  While playing a game, looking up at a space of empty bleachers in the crowd is discouraging. The Girls Varsity basketball team is bothered by having an empty crowd compared to the Boys Varsity basketball team. The Boys Varsity basketball team has been getting much more attention and a larger crowd than they have gotten in the previous years. But what about the girls basketball team? The perks of having such a rowdy and loud student section surely have an impact on the outcome of a basketball game. The Black Hole is used as a distraction to the other team and helps the WO basketball players become motivated to play harder and better in their game. The Black Hole is much more supportive of the boys team, which discourages and bothers the Girls Varsity basketball team.


  “The Black Hole wins games” is a phrase that has been heard and used a lot around school lately by the West Ottawa students that support the basketball team on game nights. So far this season, the Boys Varsity basketball team is undefeated and are now ranked #14 in the state. Maybe the Black Hole does win games. If that’s the case, the Girls Varsity basketball team would really benefit from the support and would also greatly appreciate it. “Whenever we have a game, it seems as if it doesn’t matter in a similar way it would matter for the boys,” Soph. Audrey Pohl said. “On WOBN, there are promos and announcements about the boy’s team and their games but never about the girl’s. To add to it, people congratulate them on their wins but never us. When it comes across as if the school isn’t supporting our team as much, it doesn’t feel too great. Some players on our team try to get friends and others to go, but I constantly hear ‘Oh, we are going to the boy’s game,’ even if their game is away and ours is home, they’d rather support the guys.” There is a significant difference between the number of people that attend the Girls basketball games compared to the Boys basketball games.


   “The boys win games and they are obviously really good. The games are hype and entertaining when you’re undefeated, That would create more energy for us and help us play better,” Frosh. Alia Mares said. “We have been needing an energy spark and haven’t found one, but the Black Hole might be it.”


 In comparison to the boys, the Girls Varsity team is not undefeated. Their record is 5-7. If the girls team received all the hype and attention with the Black Hole just like the guys do, they would be encouraged to play harder and motivated to win their games. Having a student section that comes out and supports them during a game would allow them to experience what it’s like to have people who come out to watch them succeed.


  “I don’t think it’s [fair] only boys get a Black Hole because the Girls Varsity team has every right to have as much support as the boys because the Black Hole wins games and would help out our team a lot,” Frosh. Danielle Kuiper said. Using the Black Hole to support the girls team is not meant to take any attention from the Boys Varsity team at all. It is meant to support their school and allow the Black Hole to become and stay the greatest student section in West Michigan. Receiving more support from students at Boys Varsity basketball games weighs down and discourages the Girls Varsity basketball team. However, on Feb 5 at the Purple Power Basketball game, the Black Hole did indeed show up to the Girls Basketball game. While the score didn’t show it, the Girls Varsity team did indeed benefit from the support of their student section and felt much more motivated. Having the Black Hole at their games benefits and encourages the Girls Varsity team.