Q&A: Perspectives on Thornton’s Tweet and Redzone Support

Mia Maguire and Katie Huffman

Monday, Feb. 10, senior Madison Thornton’s post on Twitter started quite the conversation about the Redzone and sports around the school. Thornton’s tweet stated, “Redzone for boys vs redzone for girls. We love you charger nation.” Here it is:

Picture was taken from Thornton’s Twitter

This article presents a Q&A with people who have various perspectives on the issue.


Seniors Meredith Bass and Trent Murphy are leaders for the Redzone. Here are their posed questions and responses:

Meredith Bass

What is the main goal of the Redzone for this school year? What do/did you all want to accomplish before this year is over?

“The Redzone has been so incredibly successful this year and I’m really proud of it. We do our best and the beauty of it is that anyone can join, anyone can come to any event that they choose, and anyone can participate as they please. It’s such an inclusive club and holds some of my favorite high school memories. The intentions of the leaders and crowd is always good, and I think that it’s a well-respected club who is always ready to come together and show school spirit. We’d love to have anyone and everyone who wants to participate.”


Will the Redzone be making any kind of marketing or planning changes because of the responses/feedback of the other sports teams?

“All I would say about that is that we pretty much do the same thing for as many as we can. Most of the time the boys will text us what they want the theme to be and the details about the game and we will tweet it out or we post it. We do the same thing with the girls as much as we can so that’s really all we can do and then whoever shows up it’s a fun environment.”


Trent Murphy

What is the main goal of the Redzone *for this school year? What do/did you all want to accomplish before this year is over?

“The main goal is to support every sport as much as we can. We also have our own personal lives, you know? So we try to do as best as we can with everybody.”


*Both Murphy and Bass were unable to answer any further questions.*


Senior Noah Pressley is a former soccer player and knows what it is like not to have a lot of people show at the games. He is also a part of the Redzone and comes from both perspectives.

Noah Pressley 

What was your initial reaction when you saw the tweet?  

“Um, so it was a good tweet. I liked it. I thought it was funny. I didn’t know how serious it was, I thought it was gonna get blown up, get some popularity get some likes, but like, there’s two sides of every argument. So you gotta think but like, they (girls basketball) don’t get as much recognition. If you look at Brady Snyder’s tweet, it was like, we want to watch a game that’s good. What are we going to do, cheer when they get up to 70? I mean, they’re good. And we should go to their games, but it’s not the same. I don’t want to say that it’s less than boys sports but it’s just they don’t have close games. Like, if they’re playing a good team then we would need to get the crowd involved. But I mean, when they go up 70 are we’re gonna be like, ‘Yes, let’s go’ that makes us look a little bad. You know? Like cheering when we’re already up 45,000?”


Do you think the Redzone fairly supports all sports and treats them equally?

I think the red zone is pretty good at trying. It’s just that no one cares that much like, I went to football games, I went to basketball games, and I’ll go to baseball games because I have some friends that play baseball.  But like, you need a red zone for the sports that need a red zone. Does that make any sense? Like bowling. How do you cheer for bowling? Or swimming? What do we need to do for swim? And I was a soccer player like, what are you supposed to do? Like we score maybe one or two goals a game? So, what are you going to cheer for? What if we don’t score that game? You’re not gonna cheer for anything. So it depends on the sport honestly, and when the red zone is needed.”


Do you think that the RedZone’s participation makes a difference in the way athletes play?

“Oh, yeah. Makes a complete difference. Like when you have a crowd, you just get hype, like celebrations and we get into the game. I don’t think when we yell we affect any like the free throws or three-pointers. They hit because they’re trained to block us out. But like, it definitely makes the home crowd get into it. You get more hype, you play harder. So I mean, the girls, but they smack everybody they need so don’t even need us.”


Do you think that the Redzone should make any changes or do anything differently as far as marketing or advertising people’s games?

“Um, I think they’re doing the best they can because like, I mean, everybody has social media, and they post on social media, every game and every week to get the upcoming games, but it’s just student involvement and some people can’t make it. Obviously, a lot of people work and some people just don’t go like, they don’t want to go to the games and support it, but a lot of people do. And I think it’s good. I think our section could be bigger, but it’s just student involvement. So just depends on how involved you are. I mean, they’re trying their best. I don’t know how or what else I can do to get people there. Like I know that when we played Fern Creek in soccer, we made it free just so people would come for students and we had a decent crowd, which was the best crowd we had all season, but just what you gotta do to get the students there.”


Thornton’s tweet was two days ago, and after all of the attention and feedback, here is what she has to say:

Madison Thornton

What was it that made you speak up then? 

“Seeing the red zone rowdie leaders trying to get attention from the KY student section and claiming that they ‘are the best’ student section out there, really was hard to ignore. My teammates and I have been dealing with lack of support for many years, as well as many other sports teams, and this being my senior year, I thought why not say something? I tweeted this to show the Redzone how unfair it was for them to only choose certain teams to support. I did not expect to cause something so chaotic like this on Twitter. But since my post has been up, other sports teams are sharing how they feel about the Redzone’s lack of support as well.”


How do you think that the RedZone’s participation would make a difference in the way athletes play or feel?

“Going to football games or boys basketball games, you see how the crowd interacts with the players by getting them hype, or simply just cheering for them. Just the little things that the crowd does with the teams show how they make players feel and how they get more involved with the game. Having a crowd or just some support would be nice because we worked so hard to get where we are and to have our school have our back and cheer us on all the way, would be amazing. From the girls’ basketball point of view, our bench is really our hype men, but it would be nice to have our school there with us. Having them there would allow the bench to get more into the game, as well as our players staying hype. Although we have came so far without them and been more successful than any previous years, the question is do we really even need them?”


What do you think that the Redzone should do differently, not only for girls basketball but other sports as well?

“Literally just show out… both of our soccer teams were undefeated forever, and they even went to state, but yet no support. Our baseball team is super good but no one comes out. I think just coming out and supporting even equally would make them the best in KY….”


Chris Stallings has been a part of the girls’ basketball program since the 1980s and is no stranger to the crowd of debate.

Coach Stallings

What are your overall feelings on the Redzone and their presence at girls’ basketball games? 

“It’s been this way for as long as I can remember during the regular season. Once postseason gets here they normally pick up.”


What was your first reaction/thought when you saw Madison’s tweet?

“Not one thing, there has been many games through the years we just joke it must be a camo theme tonight lol.”


How do you think the Redzone impacts the way players perform?

“All the female athletes put in the same amount of work as males some even more. I will say through the years we really appreciate it when the red zone and the band is there. I have very fond memories one year at Butler in the 1st round of region we upset them and both our band and Redzone were rocking and added to our win along with last year at j-town. It added to the experience for all involved to have them there.” 


Do you think the Redzone should make any changes to their presence at games after feedback from the student body and sports players?

“I have tried being a supporter and thank them when they are here the girls deserve their respect and attendance. For all the sports I feel there should be a student price for games maybe even if you attend so many events then the rest of the season is free. I feel athletic events and student Redzone attendance only enhances the high school experience for all students.”


Steve Gentry has been the girls’ head soccer coach for the last 12 years and is a huge advocate for girls’ sports. 

Coach Gentry

As the girls’ soccer coach, what kind of support has your team received from the student body over the years? 

“It has improved over the years as our team has gotten better. Although most of our crowd is made up of player’s families we have had some student body support. The girls’ basketball team and boys soccer have been especially supportive.”


What kind of impact do you think the Redzone has on the way players perform? 

“Nothing gets the players more pumped than playing in front of a big vocal crowd and they really want to show out for their peers, friends and classmates. The support can lift a team up and it definitely gives the home team an advantage.”


Do you think the Redzone should make any changes to their presence at games after feedback from the student body and sports players?

“It’s hard to make people care about something and not worth wasting time on. In soccer, we have always dealt with being a less popular sport. Now that we have won a couple of regional championships our crowds are much better but at the end of the day, players must get their satisfaction from their play, their team and accomplishments. We would love to have the Red Zone at a soccer game but would leave that decision up to them. Female student-athletes rock!”


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