Blue Reign: The Best Fan Section in the Country

Matheson Spillane and Addison O'Connell

Blue Reign, originally named ‘The Rez’ and formerly called ‘The Armory’, has been a student-run fan section for almost a decade. The group has been predominantly led by male seniors at Hall High School, which in return has frustrated female students for their lack of representation in the name of school spirit.

Unfortunately, this disproportionality is not black and white. We asked Grant Kanaga, a current senior Blue Reign leader, if it made sense that all but one Blue Reign leader, Jackie Bonee who graduated in 2020, have been boys. He replied with “No, I think most boys get picked because people before them have been boys and they kind of just chose like their friends”. Blue Reign leaders are selected annually by the previous leaders, a tradition that started with the founding of this group. 

The groups’ responsibilities include posting on Instagram to advertise for games, attending the games and leading cheers at the games. However, Blue Reign does not proportionately advertise for girls and boys sports games, nor is their attendance abundant at girl’s games.  As of November 21st, Blue Reign’s Instagram (@BlueWagon) has 152 posts that date back to September 3rd, 2018. Of those 152 posts, a mere 14 of them promote a female sport.

The crowd at a varsity football game, October 2022. (Tanner Cohane)

Of those 14 posts 5 of them are for girl’s soccer, 4 for field hockey, 3 for basketball, 1 for hockey, and one for 4 female students signing their National Letter of Intent.  This leaves no advertisement for girls lacrosse, swimming, gymnastics, tennis, softball, track and field, golf, volleyball and cross country in the past 4 years.

The yellow section represents the amount of posts from the Blue Reign Instagram account (@BlueWagon) that advertise girls sports games.

The support for girls games has been disproportionate to boys games for years. Blue Reign’s Double Standard by Matt Dunlap, Noah Silverman, and Isabelle Amato, was published on November 3rd, 2017. A year later Carly Zyskowski and Sinead Marie followed up with A Year in Review: Blue Reign’s Double Standard. These articles explore the lack of support, stating that the crowd size may correlate with the times of the games. For more information on the development of Blue Reign, these articles can be found on the Hall Record. 

The alleged lack of support for girls sports is nothing new in athletics. According to NPR editor Rachel Treisman’s The U.S. national women’s soccer team wins $24 million in equal pay settlement, the U.S. Women’s soccer team has established equal pay after six years since the players’ first equal pay complaint. For years the U.S. National Women’s soccer team earned significantly less, yet consistently performed better than the U.S. National Men’s soccer team. Society has normalized less support and acknowledgement towards girls sports, so who expects these 16-18 year old kids to make a change within their small school?

The crowd at the Girls Varsity Field Hockey first round of states. (Matheson Spillane)

 Aiden Dorian, a former Blue Reign leader during the 2021-2022 year, was asked if he supported both boys and girls sports equally. He said, “Now I think that at Nova [Villanova], boys sports generally have to use points of the athletic system to go to but like girls sports are free so generally I don’t go to girls sports now.” Dorian also made it clear that last year while at Hall he tried to go to girls sports especially if he had friends playing.  So even when effort is enforced in high school, colleges and adult leagues also inadvertently make attending boys sports much more appealing and paradoxically easier.

More information on Blue Reign can be found on their Instagram, @BlueWagon. The Hall Record has additional articles about Blue Reign which can be found by searching ‘Blue Reign’. The dates and times of Hall’s girls games are under the Daily Schedule on Hall’s Athletics Page as well as under the Varsity Schedule of each sport.