RHS hockey team engaging fans with new themes

The+hockey+teams+student+section+is+sharing+their+excitement+and+support+for+the+players.+The+students+participate+in+the+game+theme+neon+by+wearing+bright+colors+and+using+glow+sticks.

Grace Zalewski

The hockey team’s student section is sharing their excitement and support for the players. The students participate in the game theme neon by wearing bright colors and using glow sticks.

This year’s RHS hockey team, under a new coaching team this season, has decided to come up with new themed games that have never been done in the past as a way to draw fans into Wyandotte Hockey.
“This is something that is completely new from anything that I’ve known from being around the team in the last five years,” assistant coach Paul Ciaravino said.
According to Ciaravino, the reason why they have started to implement more themed games into their hockey season is to help the crowd and students become more involved. Last year, due to Covid, their crowd was limited to mainly parents, and was unable to have their student section like they normally do. Now that more people are allowed to come to their games, the team and coaches wanted to make sure the crowd could be involved as much as possible.
“That’s one of the things we stressed coming in this year is we wanted to get more students in the building,” Ciaravino said. “Our student section has been great this year, they’ve been vocal and super supportive showing up for the games.”
In order to make these themed games happen, the coaches and players plan out these events ahead of time to be prepared for students and family members once they arrive. Ciaravino says depending on what theme they have planned for the night relies on how much preparation they have to get done before. For the neon themed game, the coaches were able to set up neon lights around the rink and turned off the lights during intermission in order for fans’ outfits and accessories to light up.
“These kinds of themes engage both students and faculty in the activities,” senior captain Aden Jordan said. “We try to create these themes that both parties can act on in hope of trying to get everyone together and build up our program.”
Jordan explains that he has lots of involvement, including the other seniors, when planning themed games. Normally, the seniors will meet up and try to discuss what types of themes they can do each year in order to keep the student section entertained. As for senior team manager Hudson Hill, he is also a part of the decision for themed games as well as helping the coaches prepare for whatever planned theme for that night.
“We all get together a couple weeks before the season starts and try to think of a couple different themes that go along with who we are playing that night,” Hill said. “Every once in a while our coach will come up with one and we have to stick by that.”
With the amount of preparation and help the hockey team receives, these themes have drawn in a lot of students coming to watch the players in comparison to previous years. Since they have started doing these themed games, Hill says it has motivated the players into performing better and being more involved while out on the ice.
“It feels like you’re playing for a little bit more than just a regular season game, so I think it gets the players more amped up and excited to go out there and play,” Hill said.
Jordan also agrees that the themed games have helped him and his team play better. He explains that he has seen a difference in his performance as well as his team members when having a bigger student section to support them.
“I play better in front of a lot more people and I think that helps when there’s themes involved,” Jordan said. “I honestly think our team plays better in front of more people too from what I’ve seen these last few themed games.”
Ciaravino says that he is glad that the themed games have made a great turnout this year. With the amount of help the hockey team has been given, including the parents and a supportive student section, he says they are going to continue these themed games for the future. The coaches plan on getting different themes involved and hope the crowd will carry on showing up to the games.
“Since we’ve had a bigger student section this year because of the themed games, we are for sure going to plan these types of games for the future,” Ciaravino said. “We’ve already talked about doing the same type of things and maybe even changing it up a bit.”