Switching up the stands: band and student section swap for all home games

Beginning tonight at the Chiefs v. Hampton varsity football game, the student section will now represent in the far right section when sitting in the stands looking at the game. This was formerly where the Spirit of McIntosh Marching Band played, thus the new student section will move all the way to the edge of the bleachers. The swap will be the new way students will sit in these new areas at all home games.

“The reason [the band and the student section] are switching is because we want to put the student section in one space specifically,” Athletic Director Leon Hammond said. “Sometimes our students tend to stretch out along the fence the whole way. If you notice that row in the front is for handicap seating, so when they stretch out the whole way, not only does it limit the seating we have for handicap spectators, which is obviously a violation because you have to have a certain amount of seating for them, but also it really impedes the first roughly 10 rows of the stands going all the way down because people can’t see when the students are ‘fence to front row’ lined up. So, we are trying to still put them in there where they can have their environment and enjoy the game, but also be respectful to other spectators who want to see the game as well.”

Give us back our stands.”

— London Whilby

Ty Beck, a junior and a regular in the student section, hadn’t heard the two sections were swapping places.

“That seems kind of dumb. I feel like the students should be in the front. [For students] to be cheering in the front, I don’t know, it just seems more smart that way.”

Senior Jacob Gerson agreed.

“I don’t like that. I like being closer to the middle of the field because you see more. It’ll be interesting. It’ll make an interesting difference. Different from the past four years,” Gerson said.

Colorguard and Spirit of McIntosh marching band member London Whilby (11) expressed disappointment with the change.

“[This] felt like it was a decision that we as a band should have been able to weigh in on because it was made entirely by admin. I don’t think anyone’s really satisfied with it. I understand that it was put in place to try to deter the student section from going into the general audience. But I don’t think a lot of people realize how much of an inconvenience it’s been made to us because we no longer have our own ramp. We no longer have our own way to get in and out of the stands, whether it’s for when we march in, like when we marched in at the beginning of the game, or when we go out to the stadium to perform or when we have our third quarter break.  We’ve always had a problem with students intruding into the marching band section to the point where sometimes Officer [Brandon] Weathersby has had to intervene and scoot people over. So with people being on either side of us, I feel like that’s only going to exacerbate that issue,” Whilby said.

MHS Band Director, Barbara Baker has mixed feelings about the change.

“We’re going to rope off our sections to make it clearer and also just to give a more precise area for us. And to let general audience members know not to just come sit in that section especially when we’re not there. And then based on the walkways, if they seem to be crowded, then we’ll leave earlier to get out of the stands to make sure that we’re on time for halftime,” Baker said.

Marching band member and junior Macy Collins, is apprehensive about tonight’s game.

“I think it’s just going to be very confusing tonight. So we’re just going to have to be patient,” Collins.  

McIntosh Student Media staffers Titi Sanusi and Lulu Vitulo contributed to this story.