Smith on Sports: Lack of crowd at SHS game disappointing

Danny P. Smith
Staff Writer

It sure didn't feel much like a playoff atmosphere at Starkville High School on Friday night.

For those of you who don't know, there is a high school football stadium located just west of the school and it would be nice to use it more.

The crowd, or lack there of, on Friday night for Starkville's second round game of the Class 6A postseason against Horn Lake was pretty sad. There were some noticeable gaps on the home side. For a home playoff game, it should have been packed.

There just doesn't seem to be much of a home field advantage for the Jackets these days.

SHS works all year long to earn home playoff games and one would think that the community would get excited enough about its high school football team this time of year to come out and show some support.

The Jackets are exciting to watch and the potential of a big play can happen at any time. When Cameron Hines broke a 64-yard touchdown on a screen pass to start the game against the Eagles, that was some pretty exciting stuff. Why wouldn't fans want to come out and see that?

The weather was good. It wasn't that cold. There was a little nip in the air, but for the middle of November, it was probably about as good as it gets.

There were some diehard Jacket fans that did make it to the game and are there every time the gates are open. The only complaint I have with them is they don't get into the game like they should.

The band and the cheerleaders do what they can to pump up the crowd, but the fans don't seem to respond to it very much. Ultimately people have to make the decision to get fired up. It happens sometimes, but it's not consistent.

Often when opponents have third or fourth down and are trying to earn a first down, the SHS fans don't make it very hard for them to make it. When the Jackets are looking for a key stop on defense, the home stands need to be loud.

Starkville defeated Horn Lake 35-7 and advanced to the North Class 6A championship game next Friday. The Jackets will once again be the host and Madison Central will be coming back to town like it did during the regular season.

A trip to the state championship game in Oxford will be on the line for SHS and the Jacket Nation needs to show up in great numbers and be excited when they get there.

Starkville is good enough to win the state championship. A little bit of support could go a long way in helping bring that home.

Danny P. Smith is sports editor and columnist for the Starkville Daily News. The opinions in this column are his and do not necessarily reflect the views of the Daily News or its staff.