The Mechanicville School District is doing something amazing for their athletes during basketball season. Because there are no spectators allowed, local businesses and a local printer have come together and had cutouts made of students, family members, faculty, and past legends to fill the otherwise empty stands.

Mechanicville is truly a special place. I grew up there and am moving back to that awesome community soon. It was no surprise that local businesses would come up with a creative way to make sure the Red Raider athletes would be playing in front of a crowd. They also thought to include past coaches and legends who have passed in the crowd to honor them. It wasn't an easy thing to pull off, however.

Get our free mobile app

My classmate, friend, and General Manager of Toyota of Clifton Park, Mike Raucci, teamed up with other Mechanicville business owners including CJ DeCrescente and family, William Dyer and Sons, and Bruce Tanski. They hatched the idea just five days ago. Knowing that all of the Mechanicville JV and Varsity boys and girls basketball games would be streaming live, they wanted the student-athletes to have fans in the stands anyway they could. They spoke with Rob Potter from Movinads and he was all for it. The goal was to get all two hundred plus cutouts done for tonight's games against rival Stillwater. Here are my mom and me in the stands rooting on the Red Raiders.

Chrissy Townsquare Media

I remember playing basketball for Mechanicville growing up and I don't know what it would be like to not have your family loudly rooting us on in the stands. Hearing my mom, dad, grandparents, and friends cheer us on was an unbelievable feeling. Although there won't be a lot of noise, at least there will be hundreds of familiar faces. I am sure that the gym will feel like the close-knit city that it is with all of the spectators that the athletes know and love.

How Capital Region Towns Got Their Names