How WHS fans can watch the Blue Devils this fall

Empty+stands+at+Kehler+Stadium

Photo by Caroline Collins

Empty stands at Kehler Stadium

Nate Lechner and Jeremy Kornfeld

As WHS athletics resume their fall seasons following the two week shutdown, there is one question that all Blue Devil fans are wondering: will we be allowed in the stands at Gary Kehler Stadium?

One of the best parts about any WHS game is the energy that comes from the student section and the Blue Devil pride that emanates from the bleachers. Unfortunately, this year that energy will have to come from a much smaller crowd.

Other than the players and coaching staff from both the home and visiting teams, the WHS Marching Band and cheerleading team will be on the sidelines, compensating for some of the excitement that may be lost with less students in the stands. 

While non school-organization affiliated spectators will be returning to Gary Kehler Stadium, it will not be at the same capacity that we are used to seeing. According to WHS Athletic Director Sandra Mamary, there will be a total of 500 tickets available for each football game, 300 tickets to distribute for the home team and 200 tickets to distribute for the visiting team. Mamary said that of those 300 tickets for the home team,  there will be 150 tickets reserved for marching band, cheerleading, and football parents, respectively leaving 150 tickets to fill up the student section. 

WHS senior cheerleader Emma Cuilo said, “It’s unfortunate [because] the cheerleaders always love being able to entertain a big crowd and keep up good energy for the boys on the field. However, we’ll still do everything we normally do despite less people being in attendance. Overall, we are happy we get to cheer.” 

WHS Marching Band senior drum major Robbie Strauss said, “I’m excited for the possibility that we may be able to play at football games; playing together for other people is something I’ve missed a lot and I can honestly say the whole band is pretty hyped [to play at the football games], especially the seniors.”

Senior athletes at WHS realize how important it is to have a crowd supporting them. WHS senior football player Shane Carlin said, “It’s hard thinking about not having the full school behind you up in the stands. I feel that this year will be like no other that Westfield Football has ever had; we are just trying to make the best of it.” 

They also understand that the atmosphere the WHS fan section creates is important to the success of the Blue Devils. WHS senior soccer player Sean Hazard said, “Having a fan section this year is huge for the success and overall atmosphere of the boys soccer team. During my last year of soccer at WHS, it would mean the world to me if my parents, siblings and grandparents could have the freedom to come watch me and the team play.” 

Mamary’s plan for the student section is to have everyone in masks, standing six-feet apart, with no food or drinks allowed in the stands.

“I am hoping that all of the students will be comfortable following the guidelines as they are similar to the guidelines we have at the high school. What I don’t want is to have to put ‘Xs’ in the bleachers to keep people apart,” Mamary said.  

Although this fall season will look different than any other in WHS history, both athletes and students should be excited for the opportunity to play and cheer at Gary Kehler Stadium once again.