Rowdies and Other Fans Return to Horn Field After Spectator Mandate Lifts

By Shana Carey

Co-Editor in Chief

It might not seem unusual to hear a busy crowd roaring after a touchdown. But last year, officials restricted visitors to football games in order to slow the spread of COVID-19 l.

“As more Pennsylvania adults get vaccinated and guidance from the CDC evolves,” Wolf said in May 2021, “we can continue to move forward with the commonwealth’s reopening efforts.”

This year, people from across Red Lion and visiting schools were allowed back at Horn Field for all football games. 

“It’s more of a bigger atmosphere now,” senior football player Evan Mader said, “It’ll be more fun and we’ll be hyped up to play when we have more people.”

Mader, Chase Evans, and Kamyle Rikard, members of the football team, told The Leonid the day of the first home game that playing in front of cheering fans inspires them to play better. “Yeah, it’ll definitely change the momentum of the game by having the fans cheer,” Evans said. 

According to the players, this year’s season is a stark contrast compared to playing last year. Chase Evans said, “It’s a lot different seeing just a couple parents up there than a whole town.” 

The seniors look forward to their last football season because they get to have fans cheering. Kamyle Rikard said that last year “it was very quiet, and we were motivated, but we’d be more motivated with fans and people we know,” he said, “It was more boring.”

Mader, Evans, and Rikard pose before the Cedar Cliff game. They look forward to this season because fans fill the stands. They think this will allow them to play better this season. Photo by Shana Carey

Evan Mader agreed by saying “Yeah, like after a big play, hearing the crowd roar makes you wanna make another big play.” 

The cheerleaders and marching band also look forward to hyping up the crowd. The cheerleader coaches awarded Giselle Jones as one of three cheerers of the Cedar Cliff game. She says that having a crowd be responsive to the cheerleaders makes the game more exciting, and the football team can play better. 

“The anticipation of the game,” Jones said, “I was able to get kind of riled up and just experience what it feels like again to really have people there.” 

Jones said the fans will affect the game’s outcome, and she was excited to see the student section dressed up again in Hawaiian attire. “When the fans are losing their mind with all the noise and energy,” Jones said, “how can that not affect somebody?”

Jones is grateful that she can cheer to a stadium full of people again. “It’s gonna be nostalgic a few years from now,” Jones said, “and I’m glad that I got to have the experience again before I graduate.”

Riley Petroff and her Cedar Cliff friends cheer on their team at the first game that allowed visitors in over a year. Photo by Shana Carey

Excited seniors across the state fill the stands once again. This was also the first time since the pandemic started that visiting teams were allowed to sit in the visiting stands. Senior from Cedar Cliff Riley Petroff was thrilled to be in her school’s student section. 

She said that it is refreshing to be able to support her team even when they are not playing on their home field. She says this will help her team play better. “They’re more hype now to see everyone in the stands,” Petroff said.

Students in the Cedar Cliff student section said that their team is playing really well this year. “The environment is a lot better,” Petroff said, “and the team is more motivated.”

Cheerleader Giselle Jones encourages people to come to the games to support Red Lion. “It is a vital part of school spirit, and there’s always something for everybody,” Jones said, “If you love music, you can watch the band, and if you love cheerleading, you can watch my team, or even just hang out with your friends and get some good food.

The next home game is Friday, Oct. 1 against Northeastern. This is spirit night when 4-8 graders join the marching band, cheerleaders, and football players.

Anna Runkle cheers on Red Lion from the filled student section. Students filled the stands screaming dressed in Hawaiian attire. Photo by Shana Carey

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