Part I: All cheers at OHS

Student Section bring the crowd to life.


Student Section led by Evan Koch

Elizabeth Louks, Author

Editor’s note: This is Part I of III on the OHS Student Section.

Owatonna Senior High School is most notable known for its Class 5A State Champion football team, dedicated students and athletes, and the rowdy student section that goes along with it. The student section is not just seniors. It can be made up of kids from every class at OHS looking to have a fun time and support the teams and their classmates. Being a part of the student section does come with responsibilities though as it is a privilage. Students are not allowed to make fun of kids or call one of them out of the crowd as the administration wants the students to keep it a fun and friendly environment for both athletes and fans.

Many people have different views of what the student section is at OHS. Randall said, “Students are to be there to support whatever group they are watching, whether it be a sport program or any of our activities.” That is very true, the student section is there to cheer on whoever they are watching in a positive manner. Swanson said his view of the student section is, “They’re there to have fun and to be a part of a fun environment. I’d rather have them at the games instead of out doing something else. I just think what the students don’t understand is that they are Owatonna. The students are the representation of who we are.”

The school administration wants kids to cheer for Owatonna rather than making fun of the other team. If you do not follow these rules you will have consequences that are decided upon by Principal Mark Randall and Athletic Director Ryan Swanson.  On page 12 of the OHS student handbook you can find all the different offenses if you show unsportsmanlike behavior. Swanson said, “I want the student section to be as strong as possible and as loud as possible, but we have to draw the line somewhere.” The most common form of discipline is a verbal warning. If things continue, one would be kicked out of the event, with a suspension from all OHS activities for two weeks. On the third offense, one would be suspended from attending all OHS activities for the year and suspension from athletic participation. Representing Owatonna is something the students have done a phenomenal job of doing, as the OHS has only had to suspend a few students from sporting events in all of Swanson’s years at Owatonna.

OHS has many kids that have stepped up to be a leader for the student section. Senior Evan Koch is one of the many students that has stepped up to this role. Koch led the students through 12 varsity football games this year. Even though he was not allowed to participate in the Class 5A State Championship game due to breaking the rules of the student section, Koch, with the help of other members of the senior class, led a very loud and fun student section this fall. The students would try to coordinate different colors and outfits for the fans to wear so they stand out in the crowd. Koch said, “I wasn’t able to play football because I’ve had too many concussions. I felt I still needed to be involved with the many athletic programs.” Every football game, Koch would put on a headdress and wear a shirt that had all the senior players’ signatures on it. OHS is now known as the Huskies, not the Indians, yet, Koch still wore the Indian attire. When asked about the purpose of wearing the Indian attire, Koch said, “This year was sort of a throwback to when the Owatonna High School were the Indians. It was out of respect for the history of our great town and it was different. Something to remember the students section of 13-14.” Remembering the student section is definitely something that will be done by not only the people of Owatonna, but also all the teams at the OHS.

Cheers that are most popular to Owatonna would be “Go Bananas” and “The Roller-coaster.” In Go Bananas all the students stand up and do different actions. They range from slicing a banana to eating a banana, ending with the whole student section going bananas.  In the roller-coaster, one person stands in front of everybody and has them imitate whatever he or she does. Both of these big cheers are ways to get not only the student section fired up but also the players.

Football is not the only event at OHS that draws a crowd. If you go to almost any home boys or girls basketball games you can spot the student section cheering loud and proud for the team. The student section also can be found at boys hockey games, maybe not cheering as loud due to the different environment. However, the students still carry on a proud tradtion of representing Owatonna well. Although rowdiness may be limited to sporting events,  OHS students are not.  You can also go to any of OHS fine arts programs, from the theatre program to the music programs to find that  the OHS provides a packed house for all events.