The past couple weeks have brought in a new semester, but with it there have been some changes to the spectator policy for home sporting events at Castleton University.
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the spring semester kicked off with a fully-online first week. Because of these pandemic concerns, Castleton University made the change to having empty seats at home contests for that week.
Even though spectators were absent for only one week, it goes without saying that fans make quite a difference in sports.
“We tend to play better with fans because we feed off their energy,” said senior women’s ice hockey player Ryanne Mix.
Sophomore basketball player Darrell Hardge shares a similar view of spectators.
“They can change the momentum and hype a team up to help give the team a win. It gives the game a different atmosphere that I love,” Hardge said.
Despite the pivotal role that spectators play, in the world of sports, whether there’s fans or not, the show must go on.
“At the end of the day we have a job to do and that is to go out there and get the win,” Hardge said.
Senior wrestler Chance Lapier says the wrestling team has been ready for this.
“Coach Legacy has us prepared to perform under any circumstances. The absence of fans doesn’t have much of an effect on us,” Lapier said.
The different teams have managed to find a suitable replacement for the lack of fan support.
“Our team has an amazing culture. We are all brothers. When there are no spectators, our teammates just turn their support up,” Lapier said.
“We try to keep the energy up on the bench. In situations like this, we must rely on ourselves to keep each other motivated and positive,” Mix said.
Although the team has each other’s backs, the fans are still missed.
“It was definitely a huge difference in the games with and the games without fans. You could tell the difference,” Hardge said.
“Castleton wrestling fans are some of the best in the country. When fans are allowed, they pack Glenbrook, and we love to put on a show,” Lapier said.
And put on a show, they shall.
With the start of the second week of the semester, the virtual period of the semester has ended.
Along with the return to in-person classes, spectators have also returned to all home contests effective immediately.
“It’s awesome to have the best fans in the country back in the gym to support us,” Lapier said.
“The team and I missed the atmosphere a crowd brings. They bring an atmosphere that only they can bring. It can’t be replicated without them,” Hardge said.
Mix is particularly looking forward to seeing a certain group of fans.
“I get overly excited for games when my parents are there because they have to travel across the country to watch me play, which doesn’t happen often,” Mix said.
Mix is eagerly looking ahead to the team’s upcoming senior game.
“Being a senior, having my parents and grandma attend means a lot to me because it will be their last time getting to see me play,” Mix said.