Standing sideways to fit on the bleachers in hoodies and sweatpants, the echoes of packed stands make their way to the ice. Fans arrive 20 minutes prior to secure a place in the student section.
“This year has been the most fans out of my entire high school career because we have been winning,” junior hockey player Ty Wadell said. “I like all the chants they say, especially when they mess with the other goalie. When I score, I like to go by the student section—seeing everyone go crazy makes me want to score another goal.”
Wadell is motivated by seeing his friends and classmates in the stands.
“I think the energy that we bring translates to the ice and provides all of the players with energy as well. A lot of players have said that they love the energy that all of us provide for them and that it helps them on the ice, especially in big games,” senior and operator of Instagram account @PWestSuperfan Cameron Neisler said.
Neisler advertises the events to fill the student section with energy and school spirit.
“I didn’t really plan to lead the student section, it all just kind of happened. I feel like the energy at hockey games are always the best and loudest. Everyone loves them. People enjoy hockey games because of the freedom we have to cheer and say whatever we want since it is not school-sponsored. Hockey is also just a high-intensity sport that a lot of people enjoy watching,” Neisler said.
While the players appreciate the fan support, the coaches remain focused on the play.
“I have a special gift of blocking out all fans and parents of both teams during the game. This allows me to focus on the needs of the players and the team’s line changes as well as making in-game adjustments,” coach Brian Wadell said.