By Lucas Persechino
Social Media Editor
When I get an email notification on my phone, I usually just ignore it and look at it later. This email, however, caught my eye instantly. On April 13, the Office of Student Life announced that St. Michael’s will allow spectators to attend the remaining outdoor sporting events.
Immediately, my team was buzzing, blowing up my phone with talks of full stands at our home games. Even people who aren’t on the baseball team messaged me asking if I heard the news, and when my next game was. This was huge. St. Michael’s was one of few schools that didn’t allow any spectators at their sporting events.
I was disheartened going to away games and seeing the spectators of our opponents having a good time, and talking smack to our right fielder from the parking lot. I thought to myself, “Do we really have a home field advantage when we don’t even have spectators? They sure do if they’re distracting our right fielder.” The following Saturday, we had a home game against Southern New Hampshire University. The first game was a normal home game without spectators, since the lacrosse team had a game at the same time. Then the break between our two games hit, the lacrosse game ended, and spectators came out of the woodwork. Groups of over five people started to fill the stands and the grass behind the outfield fence.
As I ran foul pole to foul pole, getting loose for the next game, I heard cheers from the outfield. As ridiculous as their cheers sounded, I couldn’t help but smile. The game hadn’t even started yet, but the energy on the field changed completely. Having friends and peers in the stands filled the missing piece of playing college ball. The spectators bring a positive energy to the field and to the players.
However, I believe it’s more than that.
I feel like every athlete has something to prove. If not to other people then to themselves. Having spectators in the stands gives them the platform to do so. Personally, I had a high school coach who thought I’d never see the field after I graduated. Yet, here I am, competing in the NE10, and now I have witnesses. It was a surreal experience to play at this level with my peers watching. It’s something I’ll never forget.
I want to show my appreciation, and thank the student body for coming to our games. And an even bigger thank you to St. Michael’s for working so hard to allow us to play and allow spectators during these stressful times. You allow me to have a college experience like no other.