High school pregame activities focus on safety and connections

Jamesville-DeWitt High School is planning to create a festival-type atmosphere for students who choose to stay after school to attend four upcoming home basketball games. 

“Some students really want to attend their friends’ sporting events, but they can’t because they don’t have a way to get back to campus after taking the bus home at the end of the school day,” J-D High School Principal Gregory Lawson said. “We want to give our students the opportunity to remain at school in a safe and fun environment until the start of those games.”

The high school will be piloting its version of ESPN’s College GameDay from 3:10-4:45 p.m. in the school’s large cafeteria prior to the following basketball games.

December 16

  • Girls Junior Varsity vs. Central Square; 5 p.m.
  • Girls Varsity vs. Central Square; 6:45 p.m.

December 23

  • Girls Varsity vs. Fulton; 5 p.m. 
  • Boys Varsity vs. Fulton; 6:45 p.m. 

January 20

  • Boys Junior Varsity vs. Central Square; 5 p.m.

February 3

  • Boys Varsity vs, East Syracuse Minoa; 5 p.m.
  • Girls Varsity vs. East Syracuse Minoa; 6:45 p.m.

Each student attending the pregame events in the cafeteria will receive five tickets that they can use to purchase drinks and pizza if they are hungry. They could also opt to use their tickets to purchase J-D t-shirts or have their faces painted to show off their school spirit during the basketball games. 

While they eat and socialize, there will be free activities to keep students entertained, such as cornhole games, a student sports broadcast and opportunities for students to have their picture taken with the school’s new battle flag. High school staff will supervise the event, which will have a festival atmosphere. 

“We want to provide fun opportunities for all of our students to connect with each other and their school,” Lawson said. “Those connections are so important because connected students who have positive school experiences have more successful personal and academic outcomes.”