New organization looks to boost spirit, rekindle BGSU hype

Reporter and Reporter

College sporting events are a common place to experience school spirit. Students often come out to show their support and loyalty for their school.

But a group of students here at the University felt that school pride was missing from school stands, and they decided that needed to change, said sophomore Luke Zerkle, president of the newly created organization, The Falcon Fanatics.

“We want an atmosphere that is a college atmosphere, which lately I felt BG has not had,” Zerkle said. “Even when teams struggle, we need people to go show support.”

The Falcon Fanatics, which became an official school organization this past month, is focused on increasing pride and spirit for the University’s sports teams, according to their Facebook page, Their mission is to support University athletes by ensuring that the student section for all home athletic events is the best in the Mid-American Conference.

The Fanatics can be found at every home game for hockey, volleyball, football and both basketball teams; but, those are not the only sports they want to support.

“We want to make it to at least one or two of each sport over the year,” Zerkle said.

The organization’s main goal is to encourage more people to attend home games, and to get the students rallied up once the game is underway, Zerkle said.

“Before every game I write out the roster of the other team so we can heckle them,” he said. “We have about 12 or 15 different set cheers that we do throughout the game. That includes everything from ‘Defense!’ to the ‘roller coaster.'”

Freddie and Frieda Falcon also work with the Fanatics for several of the cheers and games done throughout the event, Zerkle said.

The organization’s leadership group calls themselves “Zoo Crew,” according to its Facebook page, in part because of its wild calls and energy during games.

“I think it’s important for students to get the most out of their college experience and support their school sports teams,” said sophomore Heather Sudman. “I know I wouldn’t be too thrilled to play if there wasn’t a loving crowd that was supportive of me and my team.”

Zerkle said the idea for the new organization started this past semester during the volleyball season.

“We had a decent-sized group that would go to games and we started talking that it would be cool if we got something started with that,” he said. “Over time we kept bringing it up. Eventually, four or five of us decided to start this group.”

Zerkle said the only thing the organization needs now is students who want to join and show their local pride at games.

Sudman said she has always been regretful of not being more spirited during her high school years and she sees The Falcon Fanatics as a good way to make up for the lost time.

“Looking back at my high school experience I wish I was more involved in school spirit and going to the games,” said Sudman. “I really regret it. That’s why I am doing more with this school.”

Besides recruiting people at games, Zerkle said the organization is also using Facebook and Twitter as ways to reach out to students and get them interested.