Sit down and scroll through Instagram, and it won’t be hard to spot a post from one of the many new Oyster River High School sports accounts.
Getting back to school this fall has made a lot of things feel normal again, like sports and attending games. At Oyster River High School, students from every class fill the stands with superfan shirts, energy, and loud cheers such as “Oyster River” or “we can’t hear you.” This fall, many ORHS athletes have created unofficial, student-led Instagram accounts for their sports teams to have fun, get people hyped up for game days, spread word about successes and team processes throughout the season, and promote team bonding through team spirit, fun games, and photo-ops.
The girls varsity soccer team made an account mid August called @themfsquad. A few girls stepped up and made the account for fun and started posting updates about their preseason. The first post on the girls account was a birthday post. This goes to show how relaxed these accounts are. It’s not just about the season and games, it’s about the bonding and team connections, as well. Lizzy Robinson-Kiang (‘22) says, “we made the Instagram [page] as something fun. A lot of the other sports teams have Instagram pages and we knew it would be a good way to get people to interact with our team more. [We] share when we win, when we lose, it’s a good communicative space, especially for ourselves, [and] it’s really fun to be able to post things.”
The Instagram accounts have really made an impact on each of the teams, as Robinson-Kiang mentions. “Since there are never any announcements made about games, it’s a good way for us to share game day posts especially since so many people follow us now,” she says. Robinson-Kiang says that more fans are at games supporting their friends and bringing up the energy by cheering. The account has also added to team bonding and the girls just enjoying themselves. Brooke Thompson (‘22) says, “we do funny posts and stories, so it gets us excited as a team for games.” The team having happy and positive attitudes before games is both beneficial to their performance but also to their team chemistry.
The boys soccer team also made an instagram account this fall. The @orboyssoccer account notifies fans about games and what to wear, blue out, white out, pjs… and most importantly have fun together and share the success throughout the season. Nik O’Hern (‘23) says that “the account has generated some buzz for our team, as well as given our team a platform to express our personalities.” Many of the posts are funny and give you a vibe of what being on the team is like. The boys are always sharing positive posts and hyping each other up as they have team spags and competitive games.
The girls field hockey team @orfieldhockey created their account shortly after preseason ended. Ashley Harvey (‘22) explains, “it’s great [for] team bonding because everyone is involved and we can all post different things. Especially fit-checks on our story includes everyone and gets us all hyped up for the game.” The field hockey team has noticed that not only does the account build excitement for the group, but it also brings attention to the girls season. Annika Kell (‘22) says, “posting stories saying ‘game day’ has definitely prompted people to come up to me and ask, ‘who are you playing?’, ‘are they good?’, and [also just] wishing us luck.” The extra support and congratulations is great for the girls as they move through a successful season.
Harvey says, “I think that it has definitely made people aware of the season and our successes. I’ve had people come up to me the day after a game and say ‘good win,’ and it was mainly because they saw the instagram story [or] post.” Robinson-Kiang shares a similar feeling. “It’s an easy way to let people know that we want the support at our games. We love when we have a fan section, it hypes us up and kinda makes us play better,” she says The Instagram accounts have brought more fans to games and the conversation of the games outside the field. This lets each team know that people care and are there to support them.
As everyone knows it’s been crazy for a while, so being able to attend games and build loud fan sections has pushed the school and community back to normalcy. The Instagram pages have a purpose to spread word about games and different events which leads to the normalcy and hype among teams and fans.
Other sports teams have had Instagram accounts in the past or have recently made ones after the increase in teams using the platform this fall. @bobcatsfansection, @orbobcatsgolf, @orgxc, @orhsalpineski, @orbobcatspuck, @orphockey, @realhoopers_101, @orhsbobcatsboyslax, @orhs.girls.lax, and @or.baseball are all accounts to keep an eye out for, as well as other accounts that may be created in the coming seasons.