The ESPN table

A fun idea to bring school spirit to Queen Freya’s Winter Ball game.

ESPN Table at the Queen Freya’s Winter Ball basketball game.

Hailey Williams

ESPN Table at the Queen Freya’s Winter Ball basketball game.

Andrew Perry, Sports Editor

Entering a big week filled with school spirit leading up to Winter Ball on Jan. 28, there was a student section for the big game against the new crosstown rival, the West Park Panthers. 

Noah Rush and I thought of creating an ESPN table because of trends via TikTok, and it actually started at Oakmont with Demetri Perry of the class of 2022. 

The table was a great experience and it brought a lot of excitement for the game against the Panthers. Noah and I both dressed up in suit jackets and ties to make the setup seem more realistic, and just to tie the whole idea together. Many of the students in the student section gravitated toward the idea, and it made a great atmosphere for the game. 

“I thought it was a great experience,” Rush said. “I [felt] more excited about the game.” 

Other than the experience the ESPN table brought us and our fellow students, I feel like our idea ended up sparking the energy of the student section and leveled the playing field between the Vikings and the stellar Panthers team. With evening the playing field, it made for a great game filled with even more excitement and some great commentating between Noah and myself. It was really fun playing the character of ESPN announcers and commenting on the game as it played out. With the help of George Buljan, we created a TikTok of some clips of our commentating of the game with some clutch plays by the Vikings.  

“I feel like having the table made for a better student section,” Rush said. “The fans were a lot more integrated in the game and it made a great atmosphere.”

I think the table was introduced at a great time in the season, with our basketball team needing a spark of energy and a sense of confidence to finish out their hard-fought season. We got a couple of nods from players on the team, in Ryu Decena and Shane Baer. Getting acknowledgement from the players felt good, because I felt as though they liked it and it meant something to them to feel the support while they compete.  

“I feel like the table helped the O-Zone get extremely loud and gave the players more motivation and confidence, which made the players feel like we had their back every play,” Rush said. 

Overall, I felt like our idea of the ESPN table for this big game was an ultimate success and could not have gone better. A very special thank you to Noah Rush for actually pitching the idea to Student Government to have the idea come to fruition!