Sixth Man is First to Cheer
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The 6th man is a basketball term used to describe the first player off the bench. He or she has an important role by providing a necessary spark of energy for their team. The hometown crowd often acts as the “6th man” as players feed off the crowd’s support and cheers, resulting in restored confidence and energy.
In the 1980s, the American Football team, Seattle Seahawks, started a new trend–the 12th man or 12th player–this is a term for fans of teams in eleven-a-side sports games. A good example of this is when the Seahawks utilized their 12th man fans in their 2014 Super Bowl game. The fans of the game wore the number 12 in support of being a part of the team.
Finally, the trend of a big section of people being a part of the team has made its way to Vista del Lago.
Initially, the basketball team started the 6th Man because instead of an 11 man team, it is made up of five players. This tradition has been going on for two years since then, and it has helped the basketball team win games.
“We started the ‘6th man’ at Vista because we wanted to help students understand how important their involvement is in the basketball games–and by being involved, the games can be a lot of fun,” said Michelle Avdalovic, president and organizer of the 6th Man club.
The 6th Man section has even gone out to have jerseys made that show the unprecedented support for the basketball team.
“The ‘6th Man’ jersey signifies that students truly are part of the team, and their energy often makes a difference in the outcome of the game,” said Avdalovic.
The support of fans has always been a big part the tradition at Vista.
“This team loves Vista and plays for these students with all their hearts. There have been games when it was clear that crowd energy boosted them to a win, both with close games, and games when they overcame a 20 point deficit,” said Avdalovic.
“When the crowd is engaged, positive and vocal, the energy they give the team can be powerful. It might just seem like a ‘defense’ or ‘we believe’ chant to students, but it truly is like having another teammate out on the floor telling the team, ‘WE got this!’,” said Avdalovic.
“We love to support the basketball team in any way we can. Anyone who wants to support our teams with us is welcome to,” said Peter Palasti, leader of the student section. “New students make the section bigger and better.”
The 6th Man student section shows up to all games and supports them no matter the location. They will be at all home games as well as away games.
“Being a part of the 6th Man is a great feeling, and being able to wear a jersey to support my team makes being an Eagle so cool,” said Brent Schaeffer, an avid supporter of the sports at Vista.
“When we play, we can hear the 6th Man section cheering for us,” said varsity basketball player Chris Fairchild. “Hearing them cheering for us makes us want to play harder and win so we can show how thankful we are for our fans.”
The 6th Man supports the basketball team day in and day out and will continue to support them for years to come.