It's Happening: Fill the House and Raise the Roof for the Indians

By Julie Perine on January 28, 2018 via

Menomonee Falls High School in Wisconsin takes its sportsmanship and fan involvement so seriously that it holds a Fan Boot Camp each year at the start of the school year. As students become familiar with their classes and teachers, they also dive into being true blue fans of the Indians. Yes, that’s their mascot, too.
There’s a three-fold purpose for the program. Besides the fact that the student body consistently wins sportsmanship awards and that their enthusiasm has made them famous around the state, the most important reason … drum roll, please … is that the athletes said they feed off that energy and it helps in their performances and therefore win games.
My niece, Natalie (Hathaway), and I were just talking about this very thing. She is the Bridgeport High School cheer coach, as well as a former BHS cheerleader and the sister of two former BHS Indian football and baseball players; both passionate about their athletics.
We were just wondering if when the cheerleaders get on the floor or the field and the fans got behind them in a big way, would the athletes feel that vibe?
We know that positive reinforcement raises the chances of a behavior being repeated. To quote B.F. Skinner, an influential American psychologist: “When a favorable outcome, event or reward comes after an action, that particular response or behavior will be strengthened.”
Let’s take it a step further. According to “Sports Psychology Today:”
“In the past, sports psychology and mental training was an untouched avenue of improving sports performance. However, in recent years, the sports community has recognized that mental factors such as confidence, composure, focus, and motivation are highly significant to athletic performance.”
A strong mental game must accompany physical talent. A coach’s confidence in his players makes a difference in their performance. Composure and focus help athletes move on after mistakes. And motivation – to have a winning record, make high school peers proud, help teams advance in post-season play – and obviously fuel athlete’s fire on the field and the court.
And we can help with the motivating part.
An article titled “The Psychology of Sports Fans: How Fans Affect Players,” says:
“It is commonly accepted that cheering positively influences a team’s performance. This is why the ‘home court advantage’ is so coveted: When playing in their home city, a team receives much more support from the crowd in attendance …”
We knew that, right?
So, let’s pack the house. It’s wintertime. Get out of the house and treat yourself to some live sports action and back your hometown high school team in the process. These kids have worked their whole lives to get to this point. For most, the high school level is the culmination of their athletic careers and for the seniors, this is their last year to shine. Let's make it a season to remember - for them and for us! 
And, while you’re there, make some noise. Clap your hands, get on your feet and do some shouting for the Indians.
I do want to say that BHS Student Body President Logan Crayton has done an amazing job getting the students fired up for this year's athletic contests. Let's help them out. 
By the way, I didn’t mention the third reason Menomonee Falls High School amped up its cheering section to full capacity: It’s fun.
You’ll think so too.
See you at the games! See remaining contests below. 
Editor's Note: Pictured from the top are the BHS cheerleaders, boys and girls basketball teams, swim team and wrestling team. All photos are by Joey Signorelli of Ben Queen Photography. See more images at
Varsity Indian Basketball - Boys (JV games precede most, beginning at 6 p.m.)
Mon., Jan. 29 - Lewis County (makeup game) - Home - 7:30 p.m. 
Fri., Feb. 2 - Fairmont Senior - Home - 7:30 p.m.
Wed., Feb. 7 - Lincoln - Away - 7:30 p.m.
Fri., Feb. 9 - University - Away - 7:30 p.m.
Mon., Feb. 12 - East Fairmont - Away - 7:30 p.m.
Sat., Feb. 17 - Robert C. Byrd - Away - 7:30 p.m.
Mon., Feb. 19 - Buckhannon-Upshur (rescheduled from Jan. 31) - Home (Senior Night) - 7:30 p.m.
Thurs., Feb. 22 - Fairmont Senior - Away - 7:30 p.m. 
(Post-season, yet to be determined)
Varsity Indian Basketball - Girls (JV games precede most, beginning at 6 p.m.)
Tues., Jan. 30 - Buckhannon Upshur - Away - 7:30 p.m.
Tues., Feb. 6 - Lincoln - Home - 7:30 p.m.
Thurs., Feb. 8 - Elkins - Away - 7:30 p.m.
Sat., Feb. 10 - Lewis County - Away - 7:30 p.m.
Tues., Feb. 13 - Robert C. Byrd - Home - 7:30 p.m.
(Post-season, yet to be determined)
Indian Swim Team
Sat., Feb. 3 - Regional Swim Meet at West Virginia Wesleyan 
Indian Wrestling Team
Fri., Feb. 2 - Big Ten at Grafton, 4 p.m.
Sat., Feb. 3 - Big Ten at Grafton, 10 a.m.
Fri., Feb. 9 - Regional at Braxton County High School, 6 p.m.
Sat., Feb. 10 - Regional at Braxton County High School, 10 a.m.
Thurs., Feb. 15 - Sat., Feb. 17 - State Meet, Huntington

Connect Bridgeport
© 2019