Unbalanced support creates division among activities

Brittany Cornelison

Art by Theresa Whang

“Rock Bridge high! Rock Bridge low! Rock Bridge rocks wherever they go!” It tailors to the status quo that high school sport teams get high praise when it comes to student enthusiasm. Students file into the bleachers on game day and the players cover everyone in their game-induced sweat.
They give up their evenings for perfecting repetitive cheers and rooting on their numbered men in jerseys, out of excitement for the accomplishments of a select group of RBHS students with athletic abilities.
And, sure, while athletes receive scholarships and backers, there are so many other underrated activities at the school, from school plays and show choir to robotics and debate showcases.
High-fives and “man-hugs” are exchanged by the football players in congratulations for the latest game, but no one takes even a second to think about how the robotics team did in their latest competition.
According to members of the football team they spend 17 hours practicing per week, and show choir practices nine. However, show choir has a year-long competitive season while the football playing season is only a couple months long.
Just like those who participate in a sports team, members of the show choir must go weekends away from their home. They drive several hours, without a school sponsored fan bus  just to participate in these competitions. They spend countless hours perfecting their singing, choreographing their dances and timing their costume changes. They have to give up much of their own time toward the performance and practices.
The robotics team, too, is an unsung hero here at RBHS. The team works all year for an average of 30 hours a week after school.
During their six-week build season the robotics team were required to program and create a semi-autonomous robot. Members said they ended up spending 40 hours a week working on this project, just to get the thing in working condition.
Because of this immense amount of work and success, all RBHS activities should get the equal amount of respect and recognition from their fellow students. For all of the hard-working hours they put into these “hobbies,” they deserve more recognition from the school as well as the student body.
It is the duty for RBHS students to give respect, admiration and appreciation to those  who work so hard and give their absolute all to make the school great.
It would be unreasonable to ask students to drive out of town to attend something like a 12-hour show choir competition; the performers understand that. But students should want to show their school’s pride just a little more. Rock Bridge is more than just school; it’s a body of students who should want to support each other and help each other succeed.
By attending a hometown choir performance, a school play or even just a portion of a debate showcase, the audience will encourage the performers to do their best.
Supporters will do RBHS justice and prove what enormous talent and potential our students contain. Encouraging the talent for sports allocates early dismissal on state championship days, school spirit days, and all-school pep rallies. And though the assemblies recognize these accomplishments, it is difficult to see a time when students get to see the great efforts from the “minor” clubs.
These organizations put enough time and energy into their finished product or production that RBHS should at least give them an award such as a medal or an early release to give the other students a chance to attend a quizbowl tournament or DECA competition in town
or on the road.  This engagement will not only benefit the performers by giving them the drive to succeed, but also those who are there to support.
They will be able to experience aspects of Rock Bridge they never knew existed. It may help students widen their horizons when it comes to what this school has to offer and maybe even convince them to take up a new club or class.
If there are all of these benefits, it is hard to understand why students are not involved at RBHS. To be a part of the school, students must take on the role of supporters and encouragers in the multitude of aspects Rock Bridge contains.
“WE ARE ROCK BRIDGE!” Now, let’s prove it.
By Brittany Cornelison