The scene at Analy: What’s a stronger word than bedlam?

Posted by Staff Writer Eric Branch:
Is there a better place to watch a high school sporting event in Sonoma County than the gym at Analy High School? I arrived at the Analy’s NCS semifinal game against Miramonte about 30 minutes before tipoff Wednesday night and the place was already standing-room-only packed. I sat next to PD columnist Bob Padecky, who told me it had been stuffed for at least 20 minutes, 50 minutes before the game.
Where else does this happen? Where else does it get so loud that referees can’t hear coaches screaming at the top of their lungs for timeouts? That’s what happened to Analy’s Brett Page in the final minute of regulation.
My first newspaper job was in a small town in Indiana, where basketball is more important than first-born children. But none of those crowds had any more passion or were capable of producing more eardrum-bursting noise than Analy’s.
In the final minutes of regulation Wednesday, Analy went on a 8-0 run in less than two minutes to take a 55-54 lead. When Kellan O’Donnell’s lay-up finished the run, it sounded like we had been transported to the flight deck of an aircraft carrier.
The student section was a pulsating mob of several hundred teenagers uncontrollably jumping up and down. It looked like the world’s most intense group sugar high, with the volume turned beyond MAX.
I looked over at Padecky and we exchanged a wow-this-is-really-something look. He might have said something, but I couldn’t hear him. I might have thought about saying something, but I couldn’t hear myself think.
Sonoma County, relatively speaking, isn’t known for its wild fan bases.
But Analy offers evidence that a high school team here can inspire the same type of passion that football might produce in a place like Abilene, Texas.
So, yes, the scene is great at Analy. The energy and electricity is unmatched. But to make it even better next year, here’s a friendly suggestion, offered because such a great student fan base should strive to do it right in all areas.
It’s great — truly wonderful — to hear you produce such noise. But how about resting those vocal chords during the national anthem?