Biddeford athletics need more support

How we can save BHS athletics by simply going to support out teams as much as possible.

Cameron Petit, Editor in Chief

If Biddeford is known for one thing, it has always been its love for and dedication to athletics. As long as I can remember, BHS sporting events, particularly football and boys hockey, have brought in more die–hard fans than one would imagine. Sitting in the bleachers of the 2007, 2008, and 2010 Boys Hockey Class A State Championship games was unlike anything I’ve ever experienced and will always be some of my fondest childhood memories. Then as soon as I started high school, Friday night football games (which became known as Friday Night Lights, or FNL, this year) soon became a close second. Each year those couple of hours a week spent with the Beak Squad becomemore meaningful to me. I feel, though, that I have now become part of the minority of BHS students and community members. The amount of fans at recent football games do not even begin to compare to the overwhelming crowds at those hockey games, where the only way to get a seat was to push through a maze of people sharing both black and orange apparel and personal space. I’ve observed over the past few years a steady decline in the support of BHS athletic teams, something I never anticipated. In fact I don’t think anyone that grew up in Biddeford anticipated this, because my dad has described crowds at football games twice the size of the ones at those hockey games.

I ask myself why this tragic thing has happened, because it was such an essential and representative characteristic of Biddeford. I don’t get it, because whether we win in overtime or lose right from the beginning, it’s a surreal feeling to be there supporting our athletes regardless of the score. But ironically there lies the problem. Our athletics are not what they were in the 70s, 80s, and 90s, where the teams won State Championships and a crowd comparable to the entire population of Biddeford came to support. Even more ironic, a part of the reason that our teams are not grabbing every possible state ring is because they don’t have the support that they used to. It’s a continuous downward spiral, because they feed off of each other, and when one fails so does the other.

There’s a simple solution to this: go to every sporting event you can. It’s not like I’m asking you to write a ten-page essay (or this 500 word column); I’m asking you to get a couple of friends or family members together and go support your hometown. It’s fun, I promise. And you’ll be doing something so beneficial to the community. I guarantee that our athletes will not complain about a full house of chanting and screaming fans on a Friday night basketball game or a Wednesday afternoon softball game, and it might even improve their performance. We are all about reviving BHS and the “don’t settle” motto, and this is the perfect opportunity to represent that. Like I said, the supporting fans and athletic performance thrive off of each other, and if we want to see the same transformation that the high school itself has been through with our athletics, we need to get our black and orange clothes together, turn our pride into chants, and get everyone and their brother to the fields and gyms as frequently as possible. Because we’re Biddeford, and if we want to be known for two things, it’s our athletics and our ability take on absolutely any challenge (and win by a landslide).