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Saraland Superintendent Aaron Milner asks fans not to take team, band and cheerleaders for granted

Saraland Superintendent Dr. Aaron Milner: “When the team is about to run through the tunnel, everyone should be on their feet cheering. It should be the loudest atmosphere in Alabama. … We should always have class but always be demonstrating through our intensity the pride we have for our students.”

By JIMMY WIGFIELD

Saraland City Schools Superintendent Dr. Aaron Milner expressed dismay over what he called a tepid response from fans at Spartans football games and implored them to not take the team, band and cheerleaders for granted.

“Our community loves the students of Saraland City Schools,” Milner said. “With this understood, it has become evident the adults in the stands are unaware of the gratification our kids get — and frankly deserve — when our fans are on their feet yelling in support of the cheerleaders, band and football team.

“We don’t need spectators, we need fans. I am asking our community to not only show up but realize our students thrive off of your intensity and see your cheering them on as appreciation for their efforts. Let them know this Friday night and potentially the next that you will never take their efforts for granted.”

No. 1-ranked Saraland (13-0) is hosting Pike Road (11-2) in the Class 6A semifinals Friday night and a victory will put the Spartans back in the Super 7 at Bryant-Denny Stadium with a chance to win back-to-back Blue Maps.

Saraland has won 19 straight games, the longest winning streak in the state, and 24 in a row at home going into the first semifinal game ever played at Spartan Stadium.

Milner said his concerns came to a head last week during Saraland’s 31-21 win over Hillcrest-Tuscaloosa.

“I gnashed my teeth a bit when prior to the game I had a media person look at me on the sideline and say as our team entered the field, ‘You would not know this was the No. 1 team in the state based on the reaction of these fans.’ I could not argue. All of these folks are sitting down as the team enters the field accompanied by the band, cheerleaders and an unreal opening on the video board. If I didn’t care about our students, I would not have been so upset.”

Milner asked fans to provide an atmosphere befitting the caliber of the school’s football team, band and cheerleaders.

“When the team is about to run through the tunnel, everyone should be on their feet cheering,” Milner said. “It should be the loudest atmosphere in Alabama. When our team scores or makes a big play, everyone in the stadium should be engaged and cheering. We should always have class but always be demonstrating through our intensity the pride we have for our students.”

Milner said he wants fans to be involved in the band’s halftime performance and understand the cheerleaders are buoyed by feedback from the crowd.

“While I want visiting teams to enter the campus of Saraland High School and be impressed with our facilities, most importantly our goal should be for the opposing team and its fans to say they have never seen a fan base support their student-athletes, band and cheerleaders more than Saraland,” Milner said.

4 Comments

  1. Danelle Peterman on November 28, 2023 at 9:56 pm

    I absolutely agree with Dr. Milner. The fan base should show their excitement. There is no doubt that they are supportive because they are there. However, outward extreme excitement would most definitely encourage the players, band, and cheerleaders. School spirit is very important and can be very contagious. Congratulations!!

  2. Hannah Whitesel on November 28, 2023 at 10:50 pm

    It is a strange phenomenon occurring with the Spartan fans. Because the team has been annihilating opponents, it is just expected that another win will occur with such ease that it’s almost not exciting anymore. Like a man winning against a child. It doesn’t even feel like a competition. They are just too good. I guess it just doesn’t feel like the team NEEDS fans- they will win regardless. It’s not that fans aren’t proud or loyal, they are just too used to winning.

  3. Anonymous on November 29, 2023 at 6:00 am

    Saraland has a great football team because it is stacked. Parents and the community know it. If your not a football player, cheerleader or dancer the school could care less. The school is not about their students and staff unless it makes the school look good.

  4. Peggy Overton on November 29, 2023 at 7:49 am

    I agree 💯 per cent!! My grandson plays in the band and I drive 1 1/2 hrs every week to support them. I made the comment last week that the fans do not cheer like this is a winning team. We did better last week, and hopefully it will get better this week. Thank you for your motivation!! Go Spartans!

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