Boosting School Spirit One Game at a Time

M-A-R-I-S-T, MARIST, COLLEGE to victory!

For a small liberal arts college, Marist may lack a lot of things. It may not have a stadium or nationally televised games. But thanks to the Marist College Student Booster Club, one thing it does not lack is school spirit.

The Booster Club is a student- run organization that increases student participation and school spirit at every home sporting event. Founded in April, 2009 by sophomore Andrew Paulsen, the club has exceeded campus expectations by becoming one of the largest clubs on campus with a total of 1,050 members.

“On college campuses across the country, there is student apathy when it comes to sports,” Sherri Coale, head coach of the Oklahoma women’s basketball team, said in a post-game press conference. “[But] not here. Everybody was here and involved from warm-up to the final buzzer of overtime. It was just a fantastic atmosphere for women’s college basketball, and we feel honored to be a part of it.”

The culmination of the Booster Club’s support can be seen in the success of the Marist women’s basketball team.

The Student Booster Club along with the Marist College Band, the Marist College Dance Team, and the Marist College Cheerleaders, provide an imperative role in creating a supportive atmosphere that Marist athletes deserve.

On Oct. 23, 2009, the Student Booster Club re-created the Foxhole, a student section of the James J. McCann Center that serves as a section of fear for the opponents of Marist’s Division 1 sporting teams. The Booster Club would like to include intramural and club sports in the near future.

The student booster club has made its presence known not only within the circle of student activities but also within the circle of Marist student-athletes. Their support for teams, regardless of their sport’s spectator value, has definitely turned the heads of some Marist athletes.

Joseph Papiro, a sophomore on the Marist Swimming and Diving team, says most people would not believe the effect a cheering section would have on a swim.

“When I see a group of kids up in the stands cheering for Marist during a home meet,” Papiro said. “It makes you feel like you really represent the Marist student body that’s a nice feeling to have going into competitions.”

Papiro continues by recalling a home meet against Fordham that was won by a Marist win in the final event. He says winning a close meet with a large student group in the stands made that victory more satisfying than most.

While it is clear the athletes enjoy the fan support, some feel obliged to return the favor to their fellow athletes.

Brian Shannon, a freshman on the swim team, is actually a member of the Booster Club. He explains how his high school swim team never got much support from other organizations within his school and decided it would be a nice club to join.

Shannon says it was fun going to a variety of sports in the fall semester. He is excited to show the same school spirit in the warm weather this spring.

The Booster Club does not cover all sports teams, one of them being the Cross Country and Track and Field Teams.

“I think the Booster Club should get more involved,” head women’s coach Chuck Williams said. “We have a home cross country meet in the beginning of the year, and since they are involved in other sports they should include us as well, especially since we are a three season sport.”

The track team travels to meets every weekend when in season, receiving support from their parents, teammates and coaches. Williams feels the encouragement of their peers would enhance his athlete’s performance and boost their morale.

“We don’t even have a senior day, which every other sports team has,” Williams said. “I’d like to see more involvement.”

The Booster Club’s next scheduled event is the Marist women’s softball game on Wednesday March 24 at 2:30 p.m. at Gartland Athletic Field.

We have no fear for our Red Foxes, we’ll fight on to victory!


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