Who Let the Dogs Out?

Who Let the DAWGS Out?
Posted on 02/14/2022

Who Let the DAWGS out?
By: Christine Harper

            Who let the DAWGS out?  Who? Who? Who? Who? Who? Who let the DAWGS out?  Released in 2000, this Baha Men world-wide smash hit became a staple for any sports team having a dog mascot.  Locally, our DAWGS are referred to as the DAWG POUND.  When you attend a MHS game, you will find them in the same spot, on their feet, cheering on their team.  The DAWG POUND has been a staple of MHS athletics for decades.  My brother, a 1995 graduate, was in the DAWG POUND when he was in high school, and I’m sure it goes back many years before that.

            These student cheering sections are often the final piece of the puzzle in a team’s win over their opponents.  The louder they get, the more intimidating our team seems.  Would our teams win without the DAWG POUND?  Probably, but it is nice to think that our cheering fans contribute to those wins.  I mean, look at Arrowhead stadium.  You would have a hard time convincing me that the fans haven’t been the “12th man” in many of those wins.  And watching our DAWG POUND, I think they make a huge difference for our teams.

            Unlike college and professional sports, high school sports do have guidelines/restrictions for fans and spectators.  The Missouri State High School Activities Association (MSHSAA) has created a chart of what is and is not allowed for almost all sports played in high school.  If you want to see the complete chart, you can go to mshsaa.org/resources/pdf/MGFS.pdf.  Although it says “ONLY those items marked YES will be allowed as fan/spectator support items at all MSHSAA District and State Series Championships,” I have realized over the years that enforcing and practicing those during the regular season keeps us out of hot water during post-season play.  MSHSAA also states, “Sportsmanlike vocal cheering and support from the team bench area are encouraged.”

            Let’s look at basketball, specifically, and what is and is not allowed when the team gets to district play, especially things that I have seen over the years during the regular season.  Hand held signs are allowed but cannot obstruct the view during play.  Megaphones are ONLY allowed by sideline cheerleaders.  Artificial noisemakers, air horns, and whistles are not allowed.  Poms/spirit rally towels are allowed.  Sportsmanlike vocal cheering is allowed.

            So, what does “sportsmanlike vocal cheering” look like.  These are positive chants, positive talk, not screaming at officials for calls you don’t agree with, building your team up and not taunting/making fun of the opposing team.  It seems simple, but in the heat of the moment, it isn’t.  It’s important that after that moment, we get back to the positive chants and positive talk that helps our team win.

            DAWG POUND, keep doing your thing.  You are important to our teams.  I just ask that you keep it focused on the positive.  GO DAWGS!