By Lorin Enns
If the phrase “Starting high school is rough” was entered into a contest for the Understatement-of-the-Year Award, it would take home the gold. Between getting lost in the hallways, fighting to find a lunch table, or even struggling to meeting new friends, kick starting this four-year journey can be a little overwhelming. To incoming freshmen and newcomers, one of the most highly-anticipated yet highly-formidable high school activities is going to that first home football game. (Schedule for all fall sports can be found here.) With the football season underway and the second home game scheduled for Aug. 31, it’s time to get your head in the game. Whether you’re fresh out of junior high or you’re the new kid in school, here are a few things you need to know to make it through your first night in the stands:
Make a game plan
Being a newbie isn’t anything to take lightly. Whether you’re a newbie or a skilled veteran of the high school sporting event, it’s always a good idea to have a plan of action for the evening, namely: what to do, where to sit, who to sit with, and what to do after the game. When knowing who’s going to be there is a mystery, a fun football game can turn into an awkward situation.. Make sure you either find a friend who is planning to attend, or simply sit with someone new and make new friends. Games are great opportunities for people to get to know each other, especially in the student section where everyone is hyped and wild.
Early is on-time, on-time is late
Waiting until the five minutes before the game starts to get in line is a classic mistake. Get there an hour beforehand because these events are packed like an In-N-Out Burger on a Friday night, especially when the team goes head-to-head against major rivals. If you don’t feel like getting through security at half-time, show up early, because early is on-time, on-time is late, and late is a major bummer.
In case you didn’t get the memo, money is mandatory to get into the game. Tickets are available for purchase at lunch or at the gate. Although students must pay $5 for admission, one of the tastiest parts to a night of football and fun is the concession stand. With a variety of snacks, drinks, candy, hot dogs, and hamburgers, the concession stand is your friend, just as long as you have a little bit of cash to spend. If you feel like meeting new people, sharing a snack is one of the best ways to befriend essentially anyone. The person who’s willing to fork over a few Twizzlers is the football game-equivalent of the guy or gal who always has gum. Be like them, and you’ll get along just fine.
As summer slowly but surely, screeches to a halt, in comes the chilly weather— a blessing and a curse. Football games typically run several hours into the night, bringing the heat down and letting the cold rear its ugly head, but the fun doesn’t stop there. If you thought being cold was bad, there’s also the risk of getting rained on. Inclimate weather at the game happens more often than anticipated, so if you don’t feel like freezing on a metal bleacher, bring a jacket or blanket to keep yourself warm. On the other hand, living in the actual center of the sun doesn’t help when temperatures don’t drop until late fall, plenty of time to get dress coded. Despite the scorching heat, remain in dress code to enjoy the game without getting into trouble. Dress for the occasion; you’ll thank yourself later.
Wear that merch
Whether it’s wearing a Raiders jersey in Oakland or slapping a Golden Knights logo on every car window in Vegas, people love to represent their teams; high school is no exception. Repping the merch means more than just wearing a t-shirt or a hat with a logo on it. It means that you take pride in showing the world where you’re from and what we as a school bring to the table. Show support—it’s what all the cool kids are doing.
Know where to sit
Where you sit is of key importance when it comes to football games. Location has everything to do with what you plan on doing at the game. There’s a student section for a reason; take advantage of that to meet people in your graduating class. An entire section of the bleachers is dedicated to rowdy teens. Anyone who is down to hoot and holler with friends should sit in the student section down close to the field while others who just want to kick back and socialize can hang out in the parent section or chill up top and take in the Friday night lights.
Learn the words to the fight song
Anybody who has ever been to a concert to see their favorite band can agree: people love to chant. Don’t believe me? Blast “Bohemian Rhapsody” at a party and count how many people sing along. Spoiler alert: it’s everybody. The fight song is a classic tune that shows off who we are and why we’re here. The band will blare the song every time our boys on the field score, but it’s up to the true fans to know the words.
Coronado red, white, and blue
To thy colors we shall be true
United we stand in all that we do
Onwards we go we go go go go
Cougars of Coronado
Follow along with the game
Believe it or not, one of the most important parts of going to a football game is kicking back and actually watching the game. Football can be pretty exciting, and not much else can truly top the excitement of cheering on the players representing your school. You don’t even have to be into sports to enjoy the event. Even if you know nothing about football, just being there to witness the action is enough to get even the least sporty person pumped up.
Show your school spirit
Contrary to popular belief, having spirit is one of the best parts of being in high school. These days, having pride in where you go to school may seem really lame, but it’s actually just the opposite. There is nothing lame about enjoying the atmosphere of the event and cheering on your friends down on the field. If you don’t want to end up sitting at home with nothing to do and nobody to hang with, give the spirit of the game a chance. This is your school, that is your team, it’s up to you to make the most of the four short years you have in high school. Don’t waste them.