School spirit may be making a comeback. In the Rockford Public School District players always have their game face on, but at times it's only a small crowd cheering teams on.
Pierre Adair a Guilford High School Senior who participates in football, basketball, and track says, "To me, Guilford doesn't have any school spirit. It's just died out for some reason. I guess ‘cause all the sports have been losing year after year."
Rockford Superintendent Dr. Dennis Thompson states that, "We're the second/third largest city in Illinois. We should be in the state championships in everything and every year."
This year the Rockford Public School District did earn some bragging rights. The Guilford football team got the playoffs, the Guilford soccer team made it to state and the Jefferson basketball team got a taste of what it means to compete in the boy’s Class 2A state basketball tournament. The team finished fourth in the state.
Colongee Waller a Guilford High School senior who takes part in football and track tells 23 News, “School spirit is strong, like at a football game we have the whole school come out."
Rockford School District Athletic Supervisor says, "If you're at a school where there's a successful program there's a whole new atmosphere in the building. It's not just athletes, it's a contagious thing."
In the fall, Peterson hopes others surrender to the sports fever that is expected to hit the district. Here's how the fever may potentially spread. For the past three years, middle school students have been able to compete in 10 sports.
Peterson stated, "If we can have programs that start in 6th grade and go on through students aren't starting out too green as a freshmen in high school.”
Dr. Thompson meets with Athletic Directors once a month.
He says he has told them, “I’m very forthright with the ADs in terms of athletics, and extra curricular that we need to start not just being competitive but we need to be winners."
A goal that could be scored by changes some of the changes expected to take place amid the districts coaching staff. That could be the right play for a school year of victories.
Right now, not many athletes are interested in swimming and wrestling.