"Hey, baby. I want to know if you'll (let us sing)?"

CHS Students Angered Over New Rules
Tuesday, February 3rd, 2015
This article is intended to help people understand the situation that is currently taking place involving the CHS ‘7TH Skater’ and to show the perspective/opinion of multiple parties.
Hockey Hey baby

We all know of the 1962 hit song “Hey Baby” by Bruce Channel. In a nutshell, the song is about a man who is chasing after a certain woman, trying to capture her heart.

Nowadays, the CHS Men’s Ice Hockey team find themselves trying to capture as many wins as possible, with hopes for a Mennen Cup Championship and State Championship, too.

The ever-so-prominent ‘7th Skater,’ Chatham’s somewhat boisterous student fan section, find themselves trying to capture their ability to chant “Hey, baby. I want to know if you’ll be my girl,” again after every Chatham goal.

For years, Chatham’s student fan section has emphatically uttered these words after each Chatham goal, but now that is no longer allowed. “(This) should have been addressed earlier,” said CHS Principal Darren Groh. “It’s not, in my eyes, okay to have that chant after a goal which basically calls the other team’s goalie a girl.”

Many find this chant to be disrespectful and diminishing toward the Cougar opponents, while others find it to be harmless and exciting. “Personally, I have always thought and believed the ‘Hey, Baby’ chant that the student section chants after we score a goal was directed towards the (player) on Chatham who actually scored the goal,” said Senior co-captain Bryn Casey.

It is evident that there is a fine line between respect and sportsmanship versus disrespect and unsportsmanlike conduct, and Chatham, like any other school, is making sure that that line is not crossed. “Sportsmanship is of the highest priority for our conference, so what we’re trying to make sure is that everything we do is reflective of our school community and our conference,” said Chatham Athletic Director Bill Librera.

“The administration wants to protect our school’s reputation, which I understand,” said CHS Senior and ‘7th Skater’ member Jared Wood. “The large number of students who support the hockey team every night are frustrated about the restrictions, but ultimately understand why they have been put in place. We never intended to offend anyone. It was just a fun song that (people) felt offended by, and if that’s the case, then there are repercussions.”

Moreover, many students feel that these restrictions have hindered the ice hockey team’s success and have significantly deflated the fan section’s. One student explained how, “Ever since the song has been banned, our players really don’t seem to have the same energy. I have many friends on the hockey team, and they were just as upset as I was when they heard we couldn’t sing the song. I’ve had multiple players and parents come up to me and say that they miss the song and that games really aren’t the same anymore.”

Bryn Casey shot this idea down, saying how, “It’s not affecting the team’s play, the fact that (the students) aren’t allowed to chant, but when they do chant, we definitely get some energy from them. We absolutely love them coming out to the games whether they chant or not.”

There is a clear misconception surrounding the fan section, as many feel that chanting in general is no longer allowed. Principal Groh feels that, “ There are ten-thousand other songs or pieces that (the students) could select from. I think there are plenty of opportunities for them to pick anything else.”

He added that he loves the support the students provide week in and week out for the team. “I think it’s fantastic. None of these things are to squash that excitement or to limit or prevent kids from being a part of or having school spirit. We’re not saying don’t yell at all. We’re not saying don’t cheer.”

In December, Chatham squared off against rival Montville, a game in which the Cougars won by a score of 4-2. The Mustangs did not take kindly to the cheer, and would later take action. “I think that Montville game, from the reports that I received, was much more rowdy than other games that we’ve had, which I think also brings light to things that may not have had light brought to them before (i.e. drug and alcohol consumption/abuse).”

“If it was happening against our players, I would respond in the same way Montville did or any other team that’s at the arena. Part of me is kind of a papa bear who says, ‘You guys don’t deserve that; you’re too good to have that be what represents you.’ It’s that moment that as administration and adults we need to control enough so you don’t cross that (line) and everything that you work for doesn’t get minimized.”

In the end, everyone, whether it is students, staff, parents or administration, wants to see the ice hockey team succeed. “We really just want to see our team play at the Prudential Center this March, and if there is anything we as a fan section can do to help the players, then we want to do it,” added Jared Wood.

“I support you guys; I believe you all know that,” added Principal Groh. “Keep moving forward.”