CHS wins Battle of the Fans


Carlsbad High School was nominated by the KUSI Prep Pigskin Report for the Battle of the Fans contest. With the help of social media and a large student body, CHS won the CIF San Diego competition.

Angie Perry and Kaitlyn Olivier

Carlsbad High School reigns as champion of CIF San Diego’s Battle of the Fans as of Tuesday, Feb. 23. The Battle of the Fans Winter Sportsmanship Challenge is a competition held Feb. through March between high school student-fan sections. Student sections around San Diego competed by rallying at athletic events and submitting a video to social media and the CIFSDS site. Afterward, votes were cast on social media through student body participation.

Judging criteria was based upon positive sportsmanship, student body participation, school spirit, originality of cheers, organization, leadership and the judge’s overall impression of the student section’s energy. Social media votes contributed to decision-making based upon student body participation. However, an overall decision was based upon the judging criteria listed above.

“Spirit sections are important to a school’s success because they define the energy of the games and the student body as a whole,” senior Joey Szalkiewicz said. “Sports are the reason people come to games, but when the energy needs to increase, that’s where fan sections are needed.”

Competition via social media was fierce between the finalists of Carlsbad, Steele Canyon, San Marcos, La Costa Canyon, Mt. Carmel and Mira Mesa High School. Students liked, tagged, favorited and retweeted to show support for their school. CHS students showed the most determination overall, receiving the highest amount of likes on their video on KUSI Prep Pigskin Report’s Instagram page with almost 3,000 likes. Finalists were evaluated by CIFSDS representatives who visited home games and recorded their own video to document their experience of each school’s fan section. They also met with the school’s student leaders and recorded their interactions.

“I think the energy of our students is overall very high, also the fact that each separate group participates as one to make a whole,” ASB director Jeff Riccitelli said. “Parents are there, the dancers, the cheerleaders, the teachers–everybody participates and is enthusiastic. This is just what we do and it’s a testament to our student body.”

The goal of the Battle of the Fans challenge overall was to encourage sportsmanship, enthusiasm and school pride among campuses. Spirit sections are a prominent factor in promoting a positive and festive environment at school events and in unifying the student body. They allow students to come together not only to show support for their athletic teams, but also for their school and community as a whole.

“I think winning Battle of the Fans is validation for all the hard work our students put in this year,” Riccitelli said. “I hope all of our student body is proud because this isn’t just for one group, it’s for the whole school.”

In winning this competition, Carlsbad High School has modeled an ideal unified, bonded and spirited high school campus. With this accomplishment, the Carlsbad Lancers set the tone for spirit sections of high schools throughout San Diego county. Aside from a title of achievement, being deemed champion of Battle of the Fans demonstrates that it is possible for students to be passionate and enthusiastic for their school as a whole, outside of the academic environment.

On March 5, Carlsbad High will be recognized at Boys Open Finals at Jenny Craig Pavilion on the University of San Diego campus.