The Student Site of Castilleja School


The Student Site of Castilleja School


The Student Site of Castilleja School


What is the state of school spirit at Castilleja?

Rubi Ochoa
Castilleja had their first pep rally of 2023-2024 school year, an event filled with spirit, excitement and joy.

Student-athletes at Castilleja have always been widely celebrated, from the Pep Rally to the Senior Athletes poster hanging on the Fishbowl, to Celebration of Sports, to the hundreds of awards that line the walls of the Upper Gym. However, there is a noticeable inconsistency between the support coming from Castilleja and from its student body.

All Castilleja sports provide a space for audiences to watch. But when asked about the average number of attendees at softball games, Emma Foster ’24 said “half a student.”

“We had maybe one game in the season where five people came, and then 11 games in the season where no people came,” Foster, who uses they/them pronouns, said. They also said they didn’t know the reason for the inconsistent numbers. “I think it was just more people were free that day.” Foster said not even parents regularly attend softball games.

Sydney Lowell ’24 said that the typical audience for a Castilleja water polo game consists of one to two students, as well as a few parents.

Student attendance at volleyball games is similarly lackluster. “I’m gonna say… seven? We’re lucky if it’s ten,” Araika Ramchandran ’25 said. “I’m going to be honest, I’m kind of disappointed. I wish that there were more students that showed up.”

The three student-athletes all emphasized two main benefits of student support: higher energy levels and more fun. Ramchandran said high energy from supporters helps her and her teammates get into a positive mindset and feel supported throughout the game, minimizing the need for perfectionism.

“Everyone seems to be in a happier mood,” Ramchandran said. “We’re playing this game for fun, and that’s the type of energy you seem to get off of the crowd. The points that you win are made even bigger and the mistakes that you lose are made smaller because the crowd is so fast to move on.”

Even without Castilleja students in the stands, sometimes the high energy comes from student sections of whichever school Castilleja is playing against. “The one team I can think of that always has students who we play often is Los Gatos,” Lowell said. “And just kind of playing in that energy, even if they’re not rooting for us, is really fun.”

Depending on the average Castilleja student’s schedule, time can be limited. Castilleja offers a wide range of extracurriculars for students to dedicate their time to such as theater, Gatorbotics, interest clubs, and of course, athletics. Students also have outside-of-school activities, and homework to complete. Lowell and Foster said they suspected that low student attendance is due to said extracurriculars. Ramchandran did not think this was the full story.

“I wouldn’t say it’s an issue of people being too busy with extracurriculars, I would say it’s more of an issue of people prioritizing coming to the games,” she said. “Because I know for a fact that there are a lot of people in the library while we’re playing a game who could easily do work while watching us play and cheer [us] on at the same time.”

In previous years, ASB members have made an effort to send out notices regarding all athletic events happening during each week. This year, student-athletes are having to invite friends themselves and tell others what date their games and meets occur. Even the dates written on the Castilleja website for athletics, Ramchandran said, are not always concrete. Some games can change at the last minute, leaving little time for the Athletics calendar to reflect the accurate dates and times, and not all students are aware that the Athletics calendar exists, she said.

Foster predicted that additional advertisement would not help increase student attendance in the future: “I don’t think the posters are going to change what’s such a cultural thing at Casti, which is the way the priorities are ordered, which is absolutely academics, academics, academics.”

“A lot of people think athletic recruitment is the easy way out in terms of college apps and that type of thing,” Foster continued. “Softball is a full-time job. It’s 20 hours a week for me. It is not the easy way out, let me tell you.”

The events that encourage the most students to come and support Castilleja athletics are Senior Nights, yielding around 10-30 students. All three athletes expressed their wishes for more people to come to their games and for their student attendance during Senior Nights to be the turnout for every game. Foster stressed the meaning of showing up to a game as an audience member.

“I think there [are] not a lot of things that are as special to a student-athlete as people showing up to their games,” Foster concluded. “That is just such an implicit message of support and care for the person and the athlete.”

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About the Contributors
Carolinda Silva
Carolinda Silva, Staff Writer
Carolinda Silva ‘24 is a staff writer for Counterpoint. This is her first year in Counterpoint! If you spot her across the circle, she'll oftentimes be wearing shoes that are between 3 – 7.5 inches tall. Outside of Counterpoint, Linda enjoys her time in Castilleja theater productions or practicing her triple threat skills of singing, dancing and acting.
Rubi Ochoa
Rubi Ochoa, Staff Writer & Photographer
Rubi Ochoa ‘27 is a staff writer and a photographer for Counterpoint. She is looking forward to meeting new people and working on improving her writing and photography skills.  Rubi loves to play volleyball, make new friends, read, write creative stories, dance and much more, but is always looking to make new and close connections.

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