Performing Under No Pressure

Fewer Spectators Limit Excitement, Pressure at Athletic Contests


Emory Trofholz

Sophia Ackerman (24) shoots over a Malcolm defender in this Dec. 2020 matchup. The school’s basketball teams have been playing in front of smaller than usual crowds this season.

Murray, NE.- This winter sports season has been a bit different this year with the pandemic restrictions in place. For Conestoga’s teams, winter sports events will either have a set amount of tickets for each player, or allow only immediate household members, dependending on the host school’s guidelines. Initially, only household members were allowed to attend home games and home duals.  As state health mandates have changed, restrictions on spectators have eased up.

With big events like the Cougar Classic, where the gym is normally packed, things looked a bit different this year. “When performing in sports I personally think it’s better and think I do better when there is a crowd cheering you on. An empty gym with dead silence is sad especially when it is a home game and not very many people are there to cheer you and your team on,” says junior Danie Parriott. Having crowds makes it more exciting to be a player.

Both the head basketball coaches say that as long as they players get to play, with or without crowds, they are happy.

Coach Thies said that “As long as we get to play, the crowd size doesn’t matter.”

The boys’ and the girls’ coaches agreeing that they are just happy that they get to play shows how much the season means to them.

Keaghon Chini, a junior wrestler, had feelings about having crowds too. “Playing with a crowd is always better. It is always nice to hear the cheers of others. When it comes down to it, though, I usually tune out the crowd till the end of my match anyway.”

Playing without crowds will be a bit different this season. With or without crowds, the Conestoga teams will still be fighting to do their best and be grateful for every moment they have on the mats or on the court.