By Jacob Curry, The Circuit
Members of the crowd looked around in surprise as a group of particularly rowdy Ravens sported bare chests at a cold soccer game late last fall.
Since the Nov. 18 women’s game against Trinity Chritian College, the student section saw a change that many hope is here to stay.
The Rowdy Ravens are a group of students looking to help lead the student section in an attempt to help gain a bigger following for Raven athletics.
With the help of the Assistant Athletic Director Mike Faucett and Associate Athletic Director Josh Pound, sophomore Chris Spoerl is hoping to make Benedictine one of the more feared places to play for any sport.
“We want other schools to be afraid when they have to come play at Benedictine,” Spoerl said. “When they see Benedictine on their schedule we want them to expect a loud place with a lot of school spirit. Most of the time there is usually twenty or fewer students at any given event.”
The current outlook for the student section at most sporting events is around 20 to 30 students all scattered around the gym.
The effect of the small student section can even lead to players feeling less energetic while playing at home.
“Having a bigger crowd definitely helps you get more pumped for a game,” said freshman Sam Brennann, guard on the women’s basketball team.
With a depleted student section, Benedictine Athletics is working to establish Benedictine as a tough place to play.
“The hopes of making the Rowdy Ravens a well-known name around the campus while also giving the student sections a newer identity is a goal we have in mind,” Spoerl said.
An attempt to bring attention to the student section came to Spoerl during the women’s soccer season. Spoerl, along with eight other Benedictine male students, went to a game shirtless and tried to pump up the crowd.
“After the first couple of minutes other people came over and joined in, not exactly being shirtless, but just cheering and being loud,” he said.
Benedictine’s coaches caught on to Spoerl’s idea and are now working to get bigger crowds at home games for several sports. With the help of the Rowdy Ravens, the Benedictine coaching staff is taking a little more of a hands on approach.
“The coaches are purchasing the shirts and helping with some funds for a return in their investment,” Spoerl said. “The return they’re hoping to see from the investment is a bigger crowd and a bigger following across all sports.
An effort to help the student section will continue as Benedictine sports continue throughout the semester.