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MATT MASIN, STAFF PHOTOGRAPHER
Foothill senior Ryan Munck, center, falls into fellow students as they fake an earthquake during a free throw at a game against Villa Park at Foothill on Thursday. Foothill's student section has been selected by OCVarsity as the top boys basketball student section in the county.

Loud and proud: O.C.'s top student sections

STAFF WRITER

Be true to your school.

That’s the title of an old Beach Boys song. OK, all Beach Boys songs are old.

Being true to your school is new again. School spirit has made a comeback, as best exemplified by the student sections cheering on their teams at all sorts of sporting events.

We ranked the top 10 student sections for boys basketball in Orange County last season. Many disagreed with the rankings.

But now that we are at the end of the end of the regular season for this season, we have new rankings of the top student sections.

Think of this like any sport’s top 10. One could have several versions of that top 10, with teams in different order in each version, and each version has a good deal of legitimacy.

Our evaluations included the size, noise generated, organization and cleverness of student sections.

We polled our OC Varsity reporters, many coaches and even a few spectators whom we seem to bump into at gyms all over Orange County.

Here they are, the top 10 student sections for the 2015-16 boys basketball season:

1. Foothill: The Dungeon is the name of this student section. A dungeon is dark, but these kids are bright. Being the best student section in the Crestview League, which also includes Canyon, Villa Park and Esperanza, is an achievement in itself.

5. Santa Margarita: The Eagles Nest hatches some good times. Loud and synchronized. This group is so good, we suspect they practice their moves on the weekends.

3. Canyon: It’s easy to go bonkers for your team when it is a CIF championship, as Canyon did last year. The Comanches aren’t nearly as good this year, but their student section, The Tribe, remains a championship contender.

4. Los Alamitos: Los Grif Fans. The name itself is quite good. Los Alamitos always has been one of the county’s warmer gyms. The energy generated by the kids makes it sauna-like.

5. Servite: The Asylum, these boys call themselves. When Orange Lutheran played at Servite, The Asylum had a large poster of Orange Lutheran forward Zac Jervis in a rather unmasculine posture at the beach. “I don’t know how they found that,” said Jervis, in equal parts shock and admiration.

6. Yorba Linda: It’s called The Stable. Some visiting teams must wonder if there are some unstable kids in this loud, energetic group. But then, some of the most creative people in history have been seen as a bit unstable, too.

7. Esperanza: Home or away, this student section, dubbed The Sixth Man, has been a contender for The No. 1 student section since we started these rankings three years ago.

8. La Habra: Yes, they Clan. The Freeway League has a bunch of excellent student sections – Sonora and Sunny Hills have been terrific for years, Troy is catching up and Buena Park is rising. La Habra’s The Clan was tops this season.

9. Capistrano Valley: Only Servite has a longer history of creating a vibrant student section in Orange County. This group does not have an official name right now, but the kids are making “Mulligan’s Army” shirts (the Cougars’ coach is Brian Mulligan), so maybe that will stick. The better student sections go into another school’s gym and out-yell the home team’s kids, as the Capo crazies did Thursday.

10. Sunny Hills: Lancer Nation is the Steve Jobs of the Freeway League - student section pioneers who inspired others to follow. They still are among the best in the county.

Orange County had many other outstanding student sections that were considered for the top 10.

Also in the Loud And Proud Crowd (in alphabetical order):

Crean Lutheran

Cypress

Edison

El Toro

Garden Grove

Northwood

Orange Lutheran

Santiago

Sonora

Trabuco Hills

Tustin

University

Villa Park

Western

Westminster

Contact the writer: sfryer@ocregister.com


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