Luke Graham: No home advantage for Routt County teams
February 12, 2012
Steamboat Springs — Early on in the first quarter of Saturday's Soroco vs. Meeker girls basketball game, the Cowboys' Taylor Neilson stepped to the free-throw line.
She took a couple of dribbles and clanked one off the back iron. Neilson went 2 of 6 in the game from the line.
All of this, however, was in no thanks to the student body.
Each time Neilson, or any Meeker player stepped to the line, the place was quiet.
Dead quiet. Eerily quiet. And yes, absolutely, positively too quiet for a prep high school basketball game.
An out-of-place cough in the third quarter signified the largest burst from the minuscule student section.
This isn't simply picking on Soroco.
This, for whatever reason, has become commonplace in Routt County.
I apologize to Hayden, I haven't been to a game there this season, but I've been in the past and, yes, their student crowds also have been lame.
Bluntly put, the student bodies at all three schools leave a tremendous amount to be desired as fans.
I get when teams are winning that showing up to games is a cool thing to do.
But this season has been absolutely ridiculous.
The teams like playing at home. But it's not that they have a distinct home court advantage or anything.
They like playing at home because they get to sleep in their own beds.
What a beautiful thing a home court advantage can be. These students certainly have seen it on television. Or maybe even heard it from their parents.
Any major college or professional team worth anything usually has a distinct home court advantage.
Ever heard of the Cameron Crazies? The Pit in New Mexico? The 12th man in any NFL stadium?
Heck, Hayden and Soroco have been to West Grand and seen what that is like. Now that's a student section.
This doesn't mean schools have to be poor sports either. Fans don't have to hurl insults or be profane to be part of a good student section.
But what we've had this year and in recent years is horrible student sections.
Be loud and be proud of your school. It's a horrible feeling as an opposing player knowing you have to go to a hostile gym, where it's going to be so loud that you can't think.
There are a few home games left for each of the three schools.
Steamboat has Moffat on Friday
Soroco is home Saturday.
Hayden is home Friday and next week in the district tournament. There are opportunities to give teams a true home court advantage.
I challenge the lame student bodies to show up. Prove me wrong. Make these places hell to play in.
Make it loud and make so it never sounds again like it did Saturday in Oak Creek.
To reach Luke Graham, call 970-871-4229 or email lgraham@SteamboatToday.com