Black Hole makes Season Debut


The student section at the home game last year with the theme Space Jam. This Friday’s game will also have the theme Space Jam

Emma Van Winkle, Staff Writer

Friday nights are a special night to most at Jonathan Alder High School. The stadium lights light up the football field, you can see the teams warming up, the band performing pregame, fans in the stands, and lines at the concession stands. But what wasn’t seen was the student section . This year is different, with Covid-19 everything has changed, the band only goes to home games, only 15% of the stadium is allowed to be filled with fans. According to vice principal Mrs. McCray, the student section request was denied by the Madison County Health Department for the first home football game of the season on September 4th. 

The JAHS student section, known as The Black Hole, is a big tradition. Each week they have a different theme; where students come dressed in Hawaiian clothes, all blacked out and so much more. They yell the names of the football players, participate in cheers with the cheerleaders, and rock out to the pep tunes from the band.

Senior Emma Shepherd, the leader of The Black Hole for the football season, was upset that the student section couldn’t go to the first home game. But her spirits were brought up when a different request was made for The Black Hole. The student section will be on the far end of the football field by the score board. 

When speaking to her, she said “I think that it’s a great idea, and it will be so cool to be on the field. We will be able to scream at the other team as well as cheer on our boys. Hopefully The Black Hole will be able to make many positive impacts on Friday.”

At the Friday, September 4th home football game, fans were sitting in the stands 6 feet apart. The band was seated in the end zone closest to the field house; while the football team still battled on the field with the other team. Despite the differences, McCray said it couldn’t have been better.  

“The student section was dearly missed,” McCray said. “The noise, the cheering and the positive energy are great assets that the student section brings to our football games. A game feels incomplete without one.” McMcray feels as if the section is a very big part of the game; they bring cheering and encouragement that can help energize, focus and remind the team that they have an amazing support system behind them. 

McCray is super excited to see the student section at the game this coming Friday to show their support for the team. “I think the new location of the students means they will be able to create more noise and presence for the teams on the field- our football team should be able to hear their support even BETTER,” she said “I think it’s safe to say that students are excited to have a chance to be at Football Friday Night!”

The student section at the home game last year with the theme Space Jam. This Friday’s game will also have the theme Space Jam

 Last season, the student section was there to support the football team in their 10-0 regular season and continued to cheer them on as they went through playoffs. The team missed them at the first home game, and is looking forward to seeing them Friday.

Senior defensive end and fullback Denver Petersheim said,  “The student section is a huge impact. It gets my adrenaline going and makes me really excited when I hear them cheering and going crazy.” Petersheim also said “I love where the student section is placed because we will be able to hear them even more and they can go crazy right down on the field with us.” 

The cheerleaders also missed the student section. Junior cheerleader Hannah Belau said that the atmosphere at the game was different.  “It was a lot less positive and very quiet at the game.” Looking forward to Friday, Belau also said “I think the game will be louder and more energetic because the students will be so excited to be there.”

While the student section wasn’t at the first game, the marching band still performed. The band works 3 hours every Monday, Tuesday and Thursday to get their performance perfect. Last year,  the band performed in almost 20 shows, travelling with the team to all the football games. The Black Hole showed their support for the band in addition to the team by cheering them on during performances, and rocking out to the pep tunes. 

Drum major for the Pride of the Pioneers marching band, junior Isaiah Heyman, had many things to say about the student section’s absence from the first game. “The crowd seemed less supportive of the game and the cheerleaders.” Looking forward to Friday Heyman also said “ The student section is a very important part of the games culture. It’ll be more exciting, I think it’s a pretty cool idea to put them behind the goalpost. I think it’ll have a positive impact on the players.”

This coming Friday, The Black Hole will make their first debut for the season at the home game; at the September 4th game the atmosphere was completely different without them. McCray said, “I think the game this Friday will be great with more student presence! Last week, at the times when the band was playing and cheering for our touchdowns, the whole stadium was lifted by the huge boost of energy and excitement!”

If you plan on attending the game here are the guidelines that will be put into place.