2017-18 CAS-CIAC Battle of the Fans Winner
Congratulations to Norwich Free Academy
Thank you to all the schools that submitted entries for year four of the CAS-CIAC Battle of the Fans. This event continues to grow and foster the sort of sportsmanship, fan behavior, student leadership and student participation that will make schools, parents, athletes and CAS-CIAC proud, and the participation from our member schools in the first four years has been stellar.
The Norwich Free Academy Story
There are a lot of things that stand out when talking to the student-leaders, coaches and administrators regarding the Norwich Free Academy student fan section. Most noticeable was the sense of focus from the students, and a corresponding feeling of pride in what they’ve accomplished. The students felt passionately about NFA; felt passionately about what it means to represent the school in a positive way, and saw the continued growth and energy of the student fan section as an outlet for that passion. It was all reflected in their Battle of the Fans submission video and in the conversations with the students. They have worked hard to build something special and they take a great deal of pride in what they’ve achieved.
NFA is the largest school to earn a CAS-CIAC Battle of the Fans title, and in fact, the Wildcats are one of the largest schools in Connecticut in terms of enrollment. While that might seem to offer inherent advantages for a student-fan section, it also brings with it a set of challenges. More students means a greater need for organization, and makes it even more difficult to make a large portion of the student population feel engaged. It would be easy for those already involved in the student section to rest on their laurels and be satisfied with cheering on the teams, but the NFA student section leaders wanted to try and bring more people into the tent and bring the school community together in an even more substantial way. And that sense of community, even more than which student section is the loudest or the craziest, is exactly what the CAS-Battle of the Fans is meant to honor.
This is what leadership looks like. The students of NFA wanted their student cheering section to reflect the pride in the school that they felt. They had a goal, and as a group they’ve accomplished what they set out to do. The NFA student section may not have a catchy nickname (at least not on twitter). But what they are is a testament to what can happen when committed student leaders embrace a challenge and keep working at it. They have carried on a tradition and grown the support in a way that represents the school in an exceedingly positive way, and fosters a positive feeling of community. All of that is what earned them the distinction of being the 2017-18 CAS-CIAC Battle of the Fans champions.
Here is Norwich Free Academy’s submission video that helped earn them the Battle of the Fans title.