Fans return to the stands following COVID restrictions


Natalie Garwood

The Tribe student section cheers for the varsity football team after a touchdown.

Marissa Barch, Copy Editor

As the ticket ladies open the gates for the game, the students of Utica High school pour through and race to get the front row spots of the student section. After a long year of unexpected twists and turns, protocols changed to let the stands go back to full capacity again.

“I did not expect everything to be normal this year,” senior Ayden Salmo said. “I thought everyone would have to social distance in the stands and wear masks, but we don’t, which makes it a much more enjoyable experience for everyone.

“My favorite thing about running this student section is whenever we score a touchdown and every single person in the student section goes crazy,” Salmo said. “Everyone in the student section is just happy and there is so much positive energy.”

Seniors Ayden Salmo, Pellumb Sabashi, and Jackey DeRosa are the three student section leaders who helps lead the student section, known as The Tribe, by starting the chants.

“We all got picked as student section leaders [by the old leaders] because we are close friends and we can make the fans have a very cool experience,” Sabashi said. “Austin helped me learn the chants because I didn’t really know what it was going to be like. I had a bit of nerves for the first game, but after the first game those nerves went away.

“Initially at first I believed that we were going to only be able to have half the normal amount of fans,” Sabashi said. “I did not expect u to have some of the largest crowds we’ve ever had.”

These leaders had a year off of not being allowed to attend games. Yet, managed to pull off running the student section well so far, according to senior Amelia Markovski.

“I think the student section leaders are doing a great job at getting us loud,” Markovski said. “I think having a student section is a good thing so the players feel the energy and know that we are cheering them on.”

Along with Markovski, senior Alyssia Johnson also feels happy for the student section’s return.

“Finally being able to chant and be with everyone there is nice for our senior year especially,” Johnson said. “White out was the most enjoyable theme because it had so many people and everyone participated.”

Not only do the students enjoy having The Tribe back, but so does Principal Thomas Lietz.

“I love it. I think we have a great student section,” Lietz said. “I always enjoy the chants and they help get our teams fired up, and I appreciate that.”

As The Tribe continues to attend games and cheer on our school’s teams, they keep school spirit alive and everyone having an enjoyable time.