MU
Oak Leaves

September 23, 2016 


Sports Unite Manchester Athletics


Anjel Clemente

They say that sports team perform better at home because they have what's called "home advantage.” At Manchester University, home field/court advantage is most definitely present at sporting events. But it's not just parents, fans and students that fill the bleachers at these home events, it's the other sports teams as well that go and show their support and patriotism for Manchester Athletics. And their presence is certainly known.  
 
A prime example of this occurrence is during football games. Not only are the Saturday night lights a fun environment in which to see friends and socialize outside of the classroom, but they're also a place where an immense student section appears. In fact, it’s a student section so big that it has to be divided into two separate sections, one at each end of the bleachers. 

But these sections aren't just filled with students; a very strong percentage of these students are athletes, sitting in groups with their teammates, showing up to support their Manchester Spartan  football team and scream at the top of their lungs for a "Spartan First Down!!" 
 
Apart from football, most of the fall sports of 2016 are getting big support from all of their respective student athletes. As a soccer player myself, I notice teams like cross country (both guys and girls), along with girls soccer, a part of football, and some of the volleyball team present at our soccer games. 

From a personal opinion as a student athlete, there isn't a better feeling  than walking onto the field, and hearing a bunch of your friends and peers screaming your name and encouraging you to perform well. It certainly hypes you up to an extent. Soccer of course, returns the favor, and we try to attend as many athletic events as possible, and we're not the only ones.  

On Wednesday, Sept. 7, the volleyball team faced St. Mary's from Indianapolis, at  home.  The students had to make sure  the volleyball girls were getting the best home court advantage we could give them. Once the game commenced, close to the entire football team had taken up the entire four  or five  rows of bleachers placed behind the north end of the court. Apart from that, the men's soccer team, plus additional students and various other athletes were able to make their presence felt by sitting together and taking up a majority of the bleachers on the west side of the court.  

The students all gathered together to scream before a serve of a St. Mary's volleyball player, in hopes of a service error. When a Spartan player prepared to serve, the gymnasium became dead silent, and soon after the serve, the student body continued its loud, obnoxious shriek to  distract the opposing team and assist our Spartan volleyball team with an ace. 

From chants, repetitive phrases like the birds from “ Finding  Nemo,” to plastic hand clappers, and vuvuzelas (which were immediately removed), the student body showed  its support and  became an extra player on the court to help our team achieve victory on our home court. Although the Spartans weren't able to pull off a victory, the student support was definitely in place.

Athletic events aren't just places to socialize, they are places to show school spirit and cheer on friends and help show how great your team is, regardless of the sport. It’s all about supporting our own team, not about disrespecting the other school. Manchester has a ton of talent on and off the field. Supporting other sports makes Manchester Athletics an exciting experience.