Covid-19 affects students’ school spirit

The+Pony+Stadium+remains+empty+to+avoid+the+spread+of+Covid-19.+Without+any+fans+in+the+stands+students+are+having+a+hard+time+showing+school+spirit+this+year.

Photo by Jenna Maddux

The Pony Stadium remains empty to avoid the spread of Covid-19. Without any fans in the stands students are having a hard time showing school spirit this year.

Stillwater students are having a hard time showing pony pride this school year. With Covid-19, students are not allowed at most sporting events, and they are only in school two days a week making it hard to get into the school spirit.

This fall, volleyball, swim and dive are not allowing any spectators. Football is only allowing parents and soccer is limiting the number of people allowed in the stands. Not having parents in the stands will not affect the team, they are just happy to be playing, said Michael Puhrmann, Offensive Coordinator and Quarterback Coach for the Varsity football team, and history teacher.

Teams have also been changing small details of their practice plans to ensure safety on the field. Players say that “practices are not much different” because of Covid, but they still need to disinfect everything after practice and stay apart from one another during their meetings. Casey Venske, Co-Captain of the football team said.

We practice in smaller pods of athletes. We keep kids apart during water breaks. When we dismiss from one drill to another, we teach the kids to ‘break it down’ where they all come together with hands in the middle.  Now we call it a Covid breakdown and they stay apart from one another as they break it down,” Puhrmann added. 

It is more difficult to build up that spirit with limited time in school.  When we all get back to normal, the Pony Pride spirit will be as strong as ever.”

— Micheal Puhrmann

Most sporting and school events have been changed or cancelled this year because of Covid-19. This makes it harder to get together and show school spirit. Students miss dressing up for football games and getting together with friends.

“I do not think kids are showing as much pony pride as usual, but I understand it is tougher to be so optimistic with everything going on,” Venske said.

School spirit is more important than one would think. Some people believe that students with more school spirit do better in academics.

According to the National Federation of State High School Associations, a survey done by Harris Poll shows, “School spirit is connected to the way high school students learn, lead, and grow.” 

“Last year, around this time, many Stillwater students were attending the pep rally and school functions. Now, we have to limit social interaction, causing school events to be less enthusiastic,” junior Sarah Harriman added.

Online students are having an even harder time showing school spirit while at home. People at school have a “wider range of involvement” in the school.  No matter what activity, students that participate in clubs, sports, or school activities, are more likely to feel involved and show more school spirit.

Stillwater students may not be showing as much pony pride this school year, however, they have a good reason for that. 

“It is more difficult to build up that spirit with limited time in school.  When we all get back to normal, the Pony Pride spirit will be as strong as ever,” Puhrmann said.