Bulldogs? More Like Dulldogs.

Students here seem to care less and less about school spirit. But why?


“Why does PHS school spirit suck so incredibly bad?” should be the real title. Attendance at sports events like soccer, football, basketball, etc. seems to have hit an all-time low these past couple of years. Why is that? It seems as though the school spirit has been sucked out of the atmosphere. Not just with sports too, but with all things like theme days, assembly participation, etc. What happened to our student section? Why is it so bland? Why does no one dress up for the themes? WHY IS EVERYONE SO BORING???

As president of Dogpound, this is a very pressing issue to me. Supporting your school should be fun and exciting, not embarrassing and shameful. Truth be told, our sports haven’t been doing the best, which is definitely not the athlete’s fault. But students in the 2000s used to come and support them back then even when they were losing. I’m talking bleachers jam packed, student section stuffed like sardines, a sea of purple swallowing the stadium whole. Schools used to be shook to their cores when they saw us. So why is it different now? What’s changed? To answer these questions, I posted a poll on my personal Instagram earlier this week to ask my fellow peers their perspective on this issue. Here are their responses: 

“It’s honestly not worth it at all, pretty boring even with friends and most people there are annoying,” one person said. This is valid, especially if we’re talking about freshmen (sorry not sorry the freshmen are especially terrible this year). Another person said, “We pretty much always lose, so what’s the point?” Which, again, is valid as some students don’t have ASB meaning they have to pay the fee to get in. Why spend your money at the game when you can spend it somewhere else where it’s actually worth it?  

The majority of the answers were like this, along with others like not being interested in sports, busy schedules or not finding the joy in participating. There was one answer that was particularly interesting to me. To sum it up, this person said 1.) The school does a poor job of promoting events on time. We always find out the day before or the day of and 2.) Getting students to show up and getting students spirited are two different things. You can’t have one or the other, it needs to be both. If kids see that there are students actually excited about the games and dressing up, then they would get excited about it too. I do have to agree that this very, super, incredibly true.

One personal theory of mine as to why there’s such a disconnect with our sports and school spirit in general is because, of course, COVID-19. Most of the kids here started school right when the pandemic hit. Making the transition from middle school to high school over Zoom is really hard to deal with, and with sports being suspended during that time there was really nothing to look forward to. They made it through the year without it, what’s the point in going now? It was also such a depressing time. Dealing with that virus, loved ones dying from it, being in quarantine, etc. Asking kids to come back to school was enough but to start caring about school events ??? It feels almost insensitive. Like could you imagine your dad dying and your job being like “yeah that’s really sad and all but I need you to come in and cover Randy’s shift” ???? Why do we do that to the students, you know? These past couple of years have been spent trying to return back to normal, but what exactly is normal anymore? Is it possible to go back to normal? In my opinion, I don’t think it ever could. So what needs to change: the students or the sports? 

*The picture above is from an old Wasco newspaper, circa 2000. It shows the stands at a football game.*