Freshmen At Football Games


Larissa Vea

CH students and Cheerleaders During Black-Out Game

This year, freshman students in the Copper Hills boundaries are not admitted into Copper Hills football games for free while 10th through 12th grades still are. In previous years, ninth-grade students have been able to attend the football games for free with a student ID or with Skyward.

At the beginning of each school year, the Copper Hills administration meets and decides on which sports venues charge admission and who is required to pay admission. In the past, the freshmen have been the most disruptive and unruly at the football games. Mr Varga, a Copper Hills Vice Principal, said, “The vast majority of any disciplinary issues, disorderly conduct, police involvement, violations of gates, fence jumping, and fighting are coming from our middle school population, particularly the ninth-grade students.” Because of this fact, this year, it was decided at the aforementioned meeting that freshmen would be among the groups required to pay an admission fee to deter ninth-graders from coming to football games to loiter and cause trouble as they have in the past.

Empty Bleachers Inside CHHS Football Stadium (Camryn Cooper )

Mr. Varga has also said, “The amount we are able and allowed to pay our teachers and staff to supervise oftentimes is not adequate to get complete supervision.” The Copper Hills administration has reached out to Sunset Ridge and West Hills staff in hopes that they might be present at football games to assist with the ninth-grade students, but they have not made an appearance as of yet. If they came, the Copper Hills administration has said that they would allow freshmen to attend the games for free again.

Austin Jacobsen, a freshman student at West Hills Middle School shared his disappointment with the West Hills faculty. “Most of the teachers at West Hills and some administrators, I’ve heard say that they’d help us out, and I feel like they’re not doing that.” When their students are participating in events during school hours, middle school administrators and teachers they make sure to supervise. The responsibility for student supervision at evening events however, when the events are hosted at Copper Hills, has landed on the shoulders of CHHS faculty and staff, with inadequate support at the middle school level.

Many ninth graders were shocked to find that they could not enter the football games through the West gate along with the other Copper Hills students. A few were admitted by mistake, but a large part were refused entry. Instead, they had to access the game via the main gate to the North. Brooklyn Porter, a West Hills ninth-grader, shared her experience. “We tried to go through the side gate where all of the students go, but they told us we could not because we were ninth-graders…I just wonder why we could not go through there when we are technically high schoolers.”

Jacobsen also had a frustrating experience while attempting to get in. He said, “After the first [home game] I tried to get in, and I had to tell them I was on the football team because they would not let other freshmen into the game to watch.” Had he been treated like any other high schooler, he would not have had to convince the gate volunteers that he was a member of the football team.

Freshmen are considered students of Copper Hills High School at sporting events, and any issues they have are taken care of by the high school administration. Varga added, “When they get up here, we’ll have seats for anyone who wants to attend, who is our kid.” For now at least, freshmen will continue to pay admission to games that arguably should be free.