Student Section Steps Up


Photo by Natali Brito

Adam Abougendia and Marko Barrera

   “NA NA NA NA, HEY HEY HEY, GOODBYE!” is all that’s heard at the Pines Charter Gym as the Lady Jags pick up another win on the season. Charter students and parents waving their opponents away in victory, after a long leave of absence, the student section for the Pines Charter Girls Volleyball team is back and better than ever. 

  Led by current juniors: Adam Abougendia, Ralph Laurent, and Marko Barrera, the idea was brought to life at one of the first volleyball games of this season. The three were heavily involved in the chants with the parents of the squad and decided to get all of their friends involved in it for the remainder of the season and it turned out to be a huge success and a hit amongst the team. Laurent expressed, “Marko and Adam were the two who really knew what was going on and I was just getting hype with them, which let me learn the sport as well as have fun with the boys.”

  Student sections weren’t usually a thing at Charter, especially after last year’s pandemic season. This didn’t hinder anything, as the team did proceed to win the BCAA Big 8 Championship. Even before that season, however, a legitimate student section wasn’t truly established. Students were scattered around the crowds, special celebrations did not exist, and, compared to now, the energy in the building wasn’t as amplified. Fast forward to 2021, students are jumping over five others, rowing imaginary boats, and whatever else they can come up with. 

  In terms of the effects, these special celebrations spread the energy to the rest of the fans, getting them out of their seats and even more hyped for the Lady Jags to win the next point. Moreover, the energy even reaches out to our players on the court, as well as the Charter bench. Not only does it emotionally strengthen them, but it also lifts their spirits during these games. Players on the bench smile and laugh as they watch the student section proudly show their school spirit. Sophomore Sarah Schnell even shared her thoughts. “It’s so funny to watch them,” she said, “They should honestly have their own show or movie.” According to her, the student section celebrations even provide a source of entertainment as she and her teammates take their breathers on the bench.

   Since the team just won their last home game against Somerset Academy, their playoff run starts now, playing Everglades High on their route to winning Districts. This also means that there will not be anymore games on the Pines Charter home court, thus the student section won’t be present to cheer them on. That being said, the Lady Jags will be put to the test in their playoff fight. If they were able to do it last year, achieving a back-to-back is definitely in sight.