Students lined the stands with their eyes focused on the field beneath them.
The students’ roaring chants echoed throughout the stadium and onto the field.
Beneath them, the Sunny Hills football team made history, claiming the CIF-Southern Section Division 8 title for the first time since 1992.
To add onto the team’s success, the Lancer Nation student section was ranked No. 14 in the 2019 Orange County Student Section Rankings on Nov. 26 after earning first-place mentions for two consecutive weeks in the OCVarsity Student Section of the Week, a feature that’s posted online on the Orange County Register’s website.
“We have a rocking student section,” principal Allen Whitten said. “I am so glad that our Lancer spirit is finally getting the recognition they deserve.”
The Lancer Nation first broke headlines Nov.18 in the Orange County Register when they earned the honor of “OCVarsity Student Section of the Week” for week 12 of the high school football season when Sunny Hills played Notre Dame of Riverside and beat them 49-24 at home.
The following week, the Lancer Nation hit the road at Trabuco Hills High School, becoming the first student section to receive back-to-back first-place honors in the 2019-2020 football season, according to the Orange County Register.
The OC Student Section of the Week is determined by Manny Alvarez, a reporter for the Register through multimedia submissions with the tag “#ocvfans” on social media platforms such as Twitter, Instagram and Facebook.
“The Lancer Nation was nowhere near the Top 25, but… we [had] a student section that was on fire for the biggest games,”Alvarez wrote in a Nov. 26 online article. “Amazing way to rally back, Lancer Nation!”
Along with the performance of the football team, student participation also increased this season from previous years.
“As a student section, we have improved drastically,” ASB co-sports commissioner junior Albert Chung said. “Knowing it was [the] CIF [playoffs], our student section was more hyped than usual.”
The ASB looks forward to increasing student participation in future games through promotional videos. “[Next year,] we will definitely continue to drive toward higher levels of spirit and more attendance at football games,” said junior Jenna Beining, ASB co-sports commissioners. “In the future, we will continue to create promo videos and send them to the OC Register to get recognition for the spirit at our games.”