Taken from app.com

Peter Ackerman

Peek Into the Pit

November 1, 2018

On Friday, October 19th, the Point Pleasant Boro Panthers hosted the last home game of the season against the Barnegat Bengals. The final score resulted in a Barnegat victory, 18-15. Despite the loss, PPBHS school spirit remained high throughout the Homecoming Game, with cheers from fans and, of course, the locally loved “Panther Pit.”

The Panther Pit is the section reserved for, and organized by, PPBHS students. At each home game, the Panther Pit leaders select a different “outfit theme” to create a unified appearance. For the last pit, the leaders chose a camouflage theme, and although the design may have disguised the crowd, the chants and cheers from the Panther Pit proved their presence.

Although this was the last football pit of the year, it wasn’t necessarily the highest quality Panther Pit performance. The Pit’s enthusiasm seems to rise and fall over the season, like the tracks of a roller coaster. Much of the Panther Pit’s energy centers on the numbers of students participating, the importance of the game, the popularity of the pit theme, and additional varying factors.

Ultimately, the final pit of the season holds the most value for PPBHS seniors. The pit provides a place for senior students to demonstrate their love and appreciation for the PPBHS community; the pit is the place for senior fans to leave their mark. At one memorable moment in this year’s final pit, a senior student stood up and shouted encouragingly, “Hey, if you guys don’t lose your voice by the second quarter, get out of this pit! It’s my last pit here and it’s gonna be loud!” A roar of screams followed her declaration as the team broke through the banner and ran onto the field.

Although the enthusiasm for PPBHS is always present in the Panther Pit, at times, it can be uncoordinated or sloppy in execution. As the school prepares for the 2019-2020 football season, there are a few unspoken guidelines that students can follow to ensure pit success.  

Before chants, themes, and leaders can even be considered, there is one important rule that must be established: where and with whom to sit. Understandably, the front bleachers in the pit section are highly coveted seats, but this area should always be reserved for upperclassmen, especially seniors. Seating arrangements can cause controversy before the game even starts, so to avoid commotion, always sit with your grade level. Also, although the Panther Pit has a large space reserved, it can fill up and become crowded very quickly. If you find yourself losing footing on the bleachers, turn sideways with your row. Rotating sideways will allow the row to spread out and regain balance.

Finally, the theme of the pit sets the tone, energy, and enthusiasm for pit members. Leaders should be conscientious of a theme’s festivity-factor, including varying color options and opportunities for pizzaz.

As the reigns change hands every year, the 2019-2020 season will bring new leaders to the Panther Pit. These new pit leaders will have the opportunity to both embrace past customs and begin new, engaging traditions of their own design.

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