Administrative Executive Editor
Most students in high school show school spirit during pep rallies. It’s much the same with Owl Nation’s event, Hootie’s Nocturnal Knockout.
At 7:00 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 8, the Spaulding Gym doors opened for Keene State College students to come for free items ranging from shirts to Celtic game tickets, a routine by the cheer team, another from the dance team and a showcase of the KSC basketball team’s skills.
Owl Nation President and KSC senior Maria Aiello said, “This year we did really focus on kicking off the basketball season.”
KSC first-year and Basketball Point Guard Jeric Cichon said, “We are just doing little dunks and have the crowd into it.” Cichon said the event feels the same as the pep rallies he attended in high school.
Aiello said, “We started about a month ago. The first thing was setting the date.” She said even this task was challenging, considering that the teams and people performing at the event needed their schedules to coincide.
Aiello said another challenge Owl Nation was working on for this year was ensuring that the attendees would stay for the whole event. She said in past years that she’s helped run the event, the attendance was really low and most people in the crowd left before the end of the event. “Last year, it was on a Friday, and it was late at night, so that was another thing. So honestly we had about half turnout last year [compared to this year]. We did the raffle early on in the event [last year] so we decided to do it towards the end to keep the energy up.“ Aiello said that to combat the lack of attendance, she and the E-board of Owl nation changed the date from Friday to Thursday and made it earlier in the night. “We wanted to make it shorter and move the time up to try to get people to stay until the end,” Aiello said. “Another thing that we ended up doing this year is we added a little giveaway at the end of the event so everybody stays, and we added Celtic tickets as a giveaway and they have to be here to win at the end, so that was like two incentives to stay because it should be really fun.”
Owl Nation organized a few games for the attendees to participate in as well.
KSC first-year Selena Legacy said, “I decided to just watch [the games] my first year just to see how it all played out.”
Legacy said she could feel the high energy as the teams came out to showcase their skills: “I was up in the booth, and they all came out screaming and it was just such a great atmosphere.”
Legacy also gave positive comments regarding the skills shown by members of the dance team. Legacy said she heard about the event from flyers posted all over campus and from the Resident Assistant on her floor.
Other attendees such as sophomore Tyler Doherty came for the free shirts at the beginning. “I don’t really know that much of what’s going on but my friend brought me here…[I’m here] to hang out with friends and the free t shirt,” Doherty said.
Aiello said Owl Nation is hoping to do other events specifically for the swim team and other winter teams as well.
Sebastien Mehegan can be contacted at