While area boys and girls basketball teams are gearing up for tournament runs, the Buckeye Valley High School student section — the 901 — has already punched a ticket to the Schottenstein Center as a finalist for the Ohio High School Athletic Association’s Golden Megaphone Award.
“This shows how much pride our community has and that’s pretty cool,” BV athletic director Matt Fisher said. “It’s a big deal to our school and our community.”
The 901 will be seeking its second straight Golden Megaphone after winning the first competition last winter.
“(School pride) has kind of gone by the wayside at a lot of schools and it’s refreshing to see at Buckeye Valley,” Fisher said. “I think it’s huge. What we would like is for everyone else to do it, too. All the kids look forward to coming to the games every week. We’d like it to catch on.”
Buckeye Valley’s student section is uniquely situated behind the basket – the only one like that in the county. Opponents are forced to look right at them in the second half.
“They plan out (themes) – they don’t just all show up and do something – (they take it) pretty seriously,” Fisher said.
The 901 joins finalists’ Van Wert Lincolnview’s “6th man,” Navarre Fairless’ “Dirty Birds,” Kettering Archbishop Alter’s “Gold Rush,” Continental’s “Pirate Platoon” and Wheelersburg’s “Block” for the 2016 award.
Lincolnview was the first finalist announced Dec. 14, followed by the 901 and Fairless Jan. 11, Alter Jan. 27 and Continental and Wheelersburg Feb. 10.
Despite receiving national attention for depicting child birth to distract an opposing free-throw shooter, Sheridan did not make the cut.
“We haven’t been on ESPN with our shenanigans, but I can’t think of another student section in the state that’s better,” Fisher said.
The Golden Megaphone’s goal is to promote sportsmanship and positive school spirit, according to the OHSAA.
Buckeye Valley beat out Dayton Carroll, Amelia, Bishop Hartley and Akron St. Vincent-St. Mary to win the first Golden Megaphone last season.
All six schools will attend the boys state championship game at the Schottenstein Center in Columbus where the winner will be announced March 19.
Follow Michael Rich on Twitter @mrichdelgazette. Email: [email protected]