Eureka College's Student Magazine Since 1889

The Eureka College Pegasus

Eureka College's Student Magazine Since 1889

The Eureka College Pegasus

Eureka College's Student Magazine Since 1889

The Eureka College Pegasus

Fun Football Fridays! Come out to Support!


As Friday night football starts for high schools there is a lot of power coming not only from the team, but from the fans too. Fans of these games have become very passionate about the high schools they support. It is becoming important to get the community out to support the students. Players perform better when they see people in the stands, and they know the people are there to watch and cheer for them.  

According to a study done by Johns Hopkins University, “When people know they are being observed, parts of the brain associated with social awareness and reward invigorate a part of the brain that controls motor skills, improving their performance at skilled tasks.” Therefore, the audience may play a big role in the games as their “hype men.” 

Vikram Chip, assistant professor of biomedical engineering, had originally started investigating how performance suffers under observation, but he quickly found in certain situations that it is quite the opposite. Which some players said the same.

“After the first hit (play), that’s when the adrenaline comes. Hearing the crowd cheer makes me more pumped up,” senior Captain Chance Smith, from Manual High School said. 

This is why a community should come out and support local high schools- High schools like Manual High School (Peoria), Peoria High School (Peoria), Richwoods High school (Peoria), Washington High School (Washington), Eureka High School (Eureka), and Metamora High School (Metamora). Having stands of people filled with alumni who went to the schools, or even having people around the community out to support them will make a huge difference even if it cannot directly be seen.  

Manual High School’s head coach and captains had a lot to say about the support they receive.

“That’s what makes me the most motivated to play when my mom comes. If my mom doesn’t come, I would still play hard, I just know someone is watching just me, watching every play,” Smith said.

“Yeah, I guess I like it when I make a play and everyone gets hype,” senior captain, Nas King said. 

Having the support of the community not only makes the players feel good, but the coaches of these teams know the players are playing better or are feeling more motivated.

“It’s a sense of pride that comes over a team or player when they know they have support in the crowd. It also reinforces kids choosing positive behavior,” head coach, Dennis Bailey said.

Students who play for Eureka that watch some of these games also believe the same from experience.

“I feel like the crowd makes the game better and having someone to cheer you on helps a lot in a stressful situation,” Bryson Cast said. 

Football for many players is a way for them to keep their mind set on a positive goal, and many players become role models in their communities. A lot of them are known by the community for how they play or the opportunities that come from playing, such as being able to go to college.

“This final year I’m most looking forward to retiring my jersey. I have made a bet with my coach if I get 15 TFLs I get to keep my jersey at the end of the season,” Smith said.

“A goal for the team is to win more than one game and go all conference again,” King said. 

Some players here on campus go to visit and watch their old high school teams play.

“Watching my old team play is kind of nostalgic because I wish I could go out there on the field one more time to play with my friends and family I made,” Cast said.

Coaches also feel happy to see old players out there supporting.

“I feel good when players come back to support their former teammates it just goes back to full community support and showing the next generation they can graduate and hopefully come visit,” coach Bailey said. “I feel the community needs to be proactive in supporting kids doing something right. Rather than always reacting to bad news or events, it builds relationships and helps with how the youth function daily in their communities.” 

An amazing way to keep up with local high school football teams is through the Peoria Journal Star sports section. They are always kept up to date with both state and local schools. Articles about weekly game predictions and game recaps can be found here. Schedules or team stats can also be found on MaxPreps. 

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About the Contributor
Nataly Rodriguez
Nataly Rodriguez, Staff Contributor
Nataly Rodriguez (Peoria, IL) is a freshman first-generation student majoring in Psychology with a minor in Hispanic Studies. She is interested in writing about the different traditions and cultures around campus. Growing up Mexican with many different traditions and experiences, she loves to talk about her culture and inform those around her.