Student Spirit

History of supporting student sports


Emily Hewitt
Student Life Reporter

Watching the Principia Men’s Basketball team execute an incredible season sparked something great in the heart of the Principia College community. Throughout the season we watched the men battle and rally in some truly spectacular games. The electricity at the final matchup at Greenville was incredible and the sea of blue and gold only added to the surreal experience. Having a fierce body of die-hard fans is an integral key to garnering respect and that is exactly what we got. Not only did the men’s basketball team play a stunning season, they established a new standard for our student section. We know how deep we can roll, but can we keep this energy going for our other sports teams?
One of Principia’s biggest hype men, Akimie Ogilvie, offers insight on the perfect formula for a loud and proud student section. Ogilvie says that student energy is reflective of the personality of the sports team, whether they have a strong record, and the location of the event. These factors are key to garnering a strong fan base.
“When players put their hearts into the game people notice. Energy is a big deal too, and when a team has good energy then the student section reflects that,” says Ogilvie on the importance of an energetic team dynamic. When asked about the impact that this past basketball season had on our students, Ogilvie had nothing but good things to say: “[The basketball student section] did a good job of bringing the community together. This past season gave Principia a new edge, a new swagger, and it put Principia on the map by showing that we’re not going to back down.”
Being a dual athlete and senior, Sam Bronkar understands the culture of Principia sports and the differences among the teams. She also understands just how important it is to have someone cheering you on. She says, “Having played on two sports—women’s soccer and softball—I know what it’s like to have fans and not have fans. It’s not completely disheartening to not have fans—we are out there because we love what we do. But hearing fans cheer when we succeed reminds us that what we do and what we care about matters to our community. Seeing fans, especially our friends and fellow students, reminds us that our team makes our community better by bringing everyone together.” The sense of appreciation and support helps players work for something more than themselves, and the community is stronger because of it.
RC/E and Principia’s number one sports announcer, Dan Schneider offers sage advice on becoming an exceptional Principia fan. He says the easiest step to take towards super-fandom is to go to the Principia Athletics web-page, go to your selected sport’s tab, click on the schedule tab, then you download the schedule to you iCalendar. This gives you access to the date, location, and time of your selected sport’s itinerary. Once you have access to all this information the only thing left to do is show up.
Fans continue to show up as this culture extends to the baseball team’s opening home game, despite its relocation to a nearby field in Alton. Approximately 50 fans went out to cheer the Panthers on against MacMurray in 30 degree weather. “The fans were great,” says starting pitcher, Sawyer Grow. “They were a constant chatter throughout the entire game and it felt like a home game, even though it wasn’t at home. Their excitement helped us get over our late-game slump and secure the victory”

Image courtesy of Tommy - Wolfe

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