Roll Tide! (Alabama), War Eagle! (Auburn), Play Like a Champion Today (Notre Dame), Fight on! (USC). These are some of the rally cries that students and alumni of these colleges live and die by. Unfortunately there is no rally cry, or even school spirit for athletics here at Las Positas College.
Athletics is something that a lot of schools around the country take pride in and have a passion for. At LPC, however, that pride and passion is rarely seen around campus. Attendance is scarce for sporting events and nobody can really find a clear solution to this problem.
Tony Costello, head coach of the LPC men’s basketball team, has been here the past six years and is not surprised by the lack of support his team gets.
“We’ve gotten used to people not showing up,” Costello said. “We’ve tried to get the word out to people by word of mouth and posting flyers, but people just aren’t showing up to the games.”
Athletics are being underutilized. If students would actually show up to games or buy team merchandise, they would not only be able to represent their school, but raise money for the school as well. Maybe money to help go towards an extra class to help students get into one of the many full capacity classes at LPC.
When you don’t see fans showing up to their team’s sporting events, the reason is usually for bad team performance or a run down facility. Costello doesn’t believe either of those factors to be a problem here at LPC as evidenced by their 22-8 record last year and brand new gym that they play in.
“We got to the second round of the playoffs this year, so the product is good,” Costello said. “We have a brand new gym, we were able to get a little more attendance for the playoffs, but we really wish that could have happened all season.”
A February 10 game against Foothill had LPC’s home gym filled with a grand total of 27 people, right about average per game. During Cal and Stanford basketball games, the crowd is usually packed with thousands going crazy. Screaming at the top of their lungs with their faces painted. Those fans are the students of those schools. Here at LPC, some students don’t even know that a basketball team exists, let alone what days they play.
Aaron Himor, a 19-year-old freshman at LPC, is a basketball aficionado and would be inclined to attend some games if he knew they were going on.
“I didn’t even know we had a basketball team to be honest,” Himor said. “If they had more advertising for the games, I would go watch.”
Basketball is not the only sport that struggled to get support this season. Soccer season was a bust as well when it came to attendance. That being said, some of the players don’t blame the fans for not showing up.
Alessandro Tilli, goalkeeper for the men’s soccer team at LPC, acknowledges that the team doesn’t get much support and can’t blame them. Their poor performance of the field doesn’t help much either.
“I’m sure there’s other things people would rather be doing on a Friday night,” Tilli said. “I think part of it was because of our record but even if we were undefeated, I doubt more people would come watch.”
Tilli’s head coach Larry Aguiar shares the same sentiments. Aguiar has posted flyers around campus as often as he can to promote the games. Obviously his attempt to drum up interest in the team has been unsuccessful so far.
“We can only do so much to encourage them to come out, ultimately they make the decision, I can’t force them to come,” Aguiar said. “I don’t worry about the attendance too much now, I just focus on my players.”
Another benefit that the college would receive from an increase in school spirit is better players. When deciding which school to attend and play sports at, student-athletes will usually take into consideration the support that the team receives. The more support means the more recognition they will have around the state. Right now Las Positas would be at the bottom when it comes to fan support.
College athletics should be a way for students to proudly be identified with their school. At LPC there seems to be a rift between students and sports. It remains to be seen if sports will ever become an interest on this campus. For now, it sure doesn’t smell like team spirit.