Screamin’ Scots cheer on athletes but can be distracting


Wyatt Binnard

The leaders of Screamin’ Scots, enthusiastically cheer after Carlmont’s varsity basketball team makes a basket.

Students cheering in the stands isn’t an uncommon sight at Carlmont home games, but whether that cheering helps or hinders the team is uncertain.

Carlmont’s cheer section, the Screamin’ Scots, is a student-run organization that roots for Carlmont athletes at sports games.

“Here’s the bottom line. There are times that we’ve played at gyms where we have no fans, and we played just as well,” said James Jewitt, the JV boys basketball coach. “But I think that sometimes, like on Friday nights when we’re playing against rivals, it can help.”

The Screamin’ Scots and the Associated Student Body (ASB) are working to keep their impact on the game as positive as possible. But while hyping up the team may be valuable, they could easily distract athletes or make it difficult for them to communicate with each other.

“I played basketball a lot in middle school, and there’s a level that cheering can get to where it becomes distracting. Like if you’re trying to run a play, and the players need to be able to communicate. If there’s cheering at the wrong time, they can’t hear each other,” said Joe Sison, the ASB president. “We’re going to work a lot to find that balancing point and figure out what’s good for the players and the fans.”

Overall, Sison believes that the Screamin’ Scots do help the athletes and make them feel energized.

“In my own experience, as someone who runs cross country and track, having people there to cheer you on gives you a bit of an energy boost and reminds you who you’re playing for and that the name on the front of your jersey is still important,” Sison said.

Similar to Sison, Dalton Meekins, a senior who plays on Carlmont’s varsity basketball team, thinks that the Screamin’ Scots helped him perform better during his game on Nov. 11, when Carlmont played Menlo-Atherton. According to Meekins, the Screamin’ Scots also do an excellent job of distracting the opponent and making it harder for them to focus on their shots.

But, Jewitt thinks that the energy the Screamin’ Scots bring can also be distracting to his own team and make them play slightly sloppier.

“It can be a plus or minus. Sometimes, it can be very positive, and other times, all the extra energy makes you forget to do minor things,” Jewitt said. “It’s especially distracting when we, as coaches, are trying to tell them something, and they can’t hear us because everyone’s cheering, but we have to live with it.”

Nevertheless, Jewitt believes that the cheering is still a good experience for the athletes, and the players seem to agree.

“It was awesome,” Meekins said. “They definitely hyped us up [at the last game].”