Bring Back Gameday!
Written by Merissa Bailey Rios on January 23, 2024
By Merissa Bailey Rios
School spirit is vital on gameday, fueling the players and energizing the crowd. As Kansas Wesleyan University Men and Women’s basketball teams take on Oklahoma Wesleyan University on Saturday, January 20th, the athletic staff has collaborated to create a vibrant game day environment. Athletic Director Miguel Paredes, Dance Coach Claire Schmidt, and Cheer Coach Morgan Slagle lead the charge to create a more immersive and interactive experience for fans. Their goal is to rekindle the flame of gameday passion, hoping to hear the roars from the stands.
Wanting to see more enthusiasm and support from the crowd for future games, coach Schmidt and Slagle designed crowd-pleasing dances and cheers. These included routines to popular songs like “Pump it Up!” and “Let’s Get Ready to Rumble.” These movements are designed for simple participation, encouraging everyone, both in the stands and out, to join in. This fosters interaction between the student section, dancers, and cheerleaders. “This is an important part to pump up the energy for future gamedays!” says Schmidt. Paredes further fueled the enthusiasm by teaching the attendees of the “Bring Back Gameday!” event high-energy dances, including the now-legendary “Swag Surf” that has roared through the Kansas City Chiefs stadium in recent games. Sports Information Director David Toelle also contributed by sharing innovative ways for fans to engage with him during games.
Concerns about declining energy and game attendance prompted coaches to find encouraging ways to get students involved. With the men’s basketball team tied for the number one spot, coaches Ryan Showman (women’s basketball coach) and Anthony Monson (men’s basketball coach) hope the new gameday atmosphere will attract even more passionate support. With an energized student section bringing the soul of the home court advantage to life.
The “Bring Back Gameday!” events are just a start to the future gameday experience. The staff is committed to fostering an energetic student section, reminiscent of the atmosphere generated during matches against rivals like Bethany College. With this fan engagement Kansas Wesleyan University will get closer to a game-day environment all colleges strive to have. While speaking to Paredes he said “I want to develop a tradition. I want to be able to do things that can live on forever.” Paredes hopes to incorporate teaching the dances for gamedays into orientation each year to keep the energy up in the future. Working as this student section grows to make this a more student-led activity. As Kansas Wesleyan University takes the court against Oklahoma Wesleyan University a new era of gamedays unfolds. Every student who attends a game is a vital part of the game day spirit at Kansas Wesleyan University. Join in the new experience at future Kansas Wesleyan University game days!