Pro/Con; Inferno Cheers: Supportive Loyalty or Disrespect?

Pro, Nick Weiler:

The passion, goodhearted spirits and hunger for wins lighten the moods of the players, fans and parents alike. It is only common sense that these fans would celebrate after a big win, whether it is storming the field or screaming jeers in the opposing team’s parking lot after the game.

Often times, the sportsmanship of fans comes into question in light of taunts or other “offensive” displays of team spirit. The act of targeting specific players and/or coaches in a malicious way should not be tolerated and is never enjoyable for anyone. However, an occasional booing of the opposing team or other non-spiteful taunt such as, “You can’t do that,” when a team commits a penalty should be taken simply as a spirited form of expressing devotion to one’s team.

RHSa�� student section, otherwise known as The Inferno, is known for its intense school spirit and unique forms of cheering and enthusiasm. The Inferno brings a necessary energy to games that not only provides a sense of unity among students, but a spark for whatever team is playing.

Take for example RHS’s victory over rival Richard Montgomery’s (RM) football team in the season opener. The Rams found themselves behind at halftime 25-0 to the Rockets. However, the constant enthusiasm provided by the Inferno encouraged the team from losing hope, ultimately giving the Rams enough energy to muster a comeback and win in dramatic fashion. “[The Inferno] kept our heads in it and kept us hyped up,” starting quarterback junior Chuck Reese said. “Without them we could have lost the RM game.”

In addition to providing much needed liveliness to games, the Inferno also serves as a way to unify the students at RHS. Throughout the cheering section, students from all classes can be found screaming, chanting and celebrating.

“I love being a part of the Inferno,” junior Joseph Lynch said. “It unites the classes and gives me a chance to cheer with my friends.”


Con, Sophia Johns

Friday night football games under the stadium lights, a great team and an abundance of devoted fans all make up a satisfying start to the season. The only thing missing from this almost-perfect scene is sportsmanship.

Yes, RHSa�� football team definitely deserves some love, so the Inferno is indeed very positive in terms of boosting the spirits of both players and onlookers alike. However, mean chants and whistle blowing caused a rise in tempers at the game Sept. 6 against Richard Montgomery (RM).

At one point in the game, a whistle was blown so loudly that players confused it for a referee call. “I think they are a good group full of energy, which our football team needs a�� I just wish they would yell chants of encouragement rather than “hey number 54, you suck!a��,” security guard Bert Camut said.

Considering our fans came to another team’s school, courtesy and respect were implied. Of course, the game was exciting and an epic win, but the Inferno took their excitement too far by storming the field. Fences were hopped and bruises and scratches were inflicted on the students during this mad dash towards the players.

Students have given various reports of scraped legs from hopping the fence as well as bruises from being stepped on and pushed. Storming the field is not only dangerous but disrespectful to the hosting school. Instead of saying “Great game!” and passing out positive encouragements, we trampled their field and their spirits.

The Inferno also stayed for a while in RM’s parking lot, continuing chants of praise for our team. “It was a little disrespectful a�� it wasn’t a very classy move,” said an RM student, who requested anonymity.

Former RHS student Philip Osborne currently goes to RM. One game in 2011 while he was still an RHS student, Osborne injured his leg and a helicopter had to come down onto the field to transport him to the hospital. At the RM game, RHS students shouted “Helicopter! Helicopter!” at Osborne, taunting him for his injury.

This kind of disrespect and personal attack on individual players is the antithesis of sportsmanship.

Of course, the games are always a good time in the moment. However, the Inferno’s fiery and callous cheers should really be centered on supporting our own team, not depreciating the competition.