The Shippensburg football team has not had a successful beginning to their season, dropping their first two games of the season on the road against Shepherd in Week 1 and Slippery Rock in Week 2.
After such a rocky start, the Raiders finally had their home opener on Saturday to look forward to.
To get them pumped up, dozens of faithful students flocked to the CUB amphitheater Friday evening to support their football team.
The rally began with the Red Raider Marching Band performing music in front of students seated throughout the amphitheater, followed by an appearance of the entire football team, led by head coach Mark Maciejewski.
“It’s a brand new season and we’re very excited about where we are right now,” Maciejewski announced in front of the crowd. “Our players are focused and they’re hungry for a victory, and we’re going to get that tomorrow, there’s no question.”
The five captains of the team, offensive lineman Jason Brady, wide receiver Trevor Harman, defensive lineman Jake Metz, defensive lineman Dainen Green, and quarterback Zach Zulli, all expressed their appreciation and gratitude and how excited they were for Saturday’s home opener.
Tyler Walker and Jordan Smith, both members of the Red Sea, then pumped up the crowd by chanting the infamous “Little Red Wagon” chant that has become notorious during student sporting events.
The evening concluded appropriately enough with Maciejewski getting the crowd to display their Raider pride by shouting “Red Raider Pride!”
But why do students come to these rallies? Is it just to see the football team on the night before a big game, or does it have more to do with support and fan loyalty, something that Shippensburg athletic teams have been sorely lacking throughout the years?
“It shows school spirit; the more spirit, the better the motivation,” sophomore cheerleader Bria Mosley said.
“It helps get them [the team] pumped up for their first home game. Having support from your student body helps because it helps them gain confidence for them to do well,” senior English major Rachel Shumway said.
The Red Sea has worked tenaciously to give student athletics the support and loyalty that every team on campus deserves, and after a winless start to their 2013 season, hosting a spirit rally just for the football team is what team loyalty and support is all about.