Lyndsay Krisel

Equinox Staff


Cheers, chants, body paint, loud, obnoxious, intimidating pride is what each of the Keene State athletic teams should expect from its crazy fans.

If our school is known to party like that, then why can’t we channel that intensity into some spirit for our sports teams?

As several of our athletic teams have either been in season, training for season, or just kicked off practices in preparation, there is only one other question which poses in our minds for the rest of us average Keene State College Joes: What can be expected this year from the sports fans of KSC athletics?

Recently, an organization known as Owl Nation came together to begin brainstorming ideas to increase the amount of school spirit brought about by fans within the KSC community.

Geoffrey Woodberry, treasurer of Owl Nation and a member of the KSC men’s basketball team, elaborated a bit more about Owl Nation and some of the group’s goals for the 2011/2012 athletic seasons.

“As a school, Keene State has been lacking school spirit, and Owl Nation has been organized to help draw more support for the teams represented on a day-to-day basis,” said Woodberry.  “Often times, students will either not show up to games because they are doing their own thing, or they are just not into the athletic teams. Or if they do attend, they end up leaving at halftime or somewhere in the middle of the game.”

Woodberry mentioned how the new gymnasium has been doing well as far as drawing more attention and fans to the sports games, and that the coloring in the gym has created a more intimidating environment to play in.

“We hope to start bringing in the crowds once our season really gets going,” Woodberry said.

Woodberry said since there is so much excitement in the game of basketball and it seems to be the most popular sport for fans, the school spirit should pickup soon.  However, the group has been thinking of small ways to keep the school spirit at a high.

“Our goal is to try to organize things that will draw more fans to come support our teams, such as selling raffle tickets for prizes, wristbands that say ‘Owl Nation’ on them, or T-shirt giveaways at games. Anything will help,” Woodberry explained.

Junior and women’s soccer player Joan Hamel talked about the lack of support and fans at their home games this season.

“The boys soccer team gets way more fans than the girls do usually, mainly because people don’t like to watch a girl’s sport,” said Hamel, “Girls like to go watch the boys play but it’s weird for boys to watch girls play.”

The gender bias within the athletic community is most certainly a pressing concern, since this trend is also seen throughout basketball and baseball/softball seasons as well.

Keith Boucher, head coach of the women’s basketball team stated that he would like to see more support for the women’s team.

“I don’t judge an athlete by who they may be, an athlete is an athlete, and athletes feed off of the adrenaline that fans provide during a game,” Boucher said.

Boucher also mentioned that students are “fickle.”

“If there’s going to be t-shirts given out, you better believe students will be lined up first thing to make sure they get them,” Boucher said.

He stated how skipping out on Midnight Madness this year has affected the team as well.

“It is a disappointing loss for this year because it is such a big push and rush for the team and fans in general. People enjoy coming out and supporting the kickoff of a big season and it’s a shame that we are unable to fund it this year,” Boucher said.

As for some of the other athletic teams who play out on the fields, Boucher commented.

“The weather is a major factor on whether the teams get support or not, and unless it is a Plymouth State rival game, then students generally don’t want to walk over to the fields because god forbid they get up to get some exercise. When it comes down to it, however, it is the other student athletes that support each other the most,” Boucher said.  “Each team after a while gets to know the other athletes within the athletic community, and it’s great because they’ll go support their friends in other games and vise versa.”

In recent years at Keene State, it has been quite difficult to tell whether there have been more or less fans attending sports games, according to Student Body President Colin Daly.

“I think that there is a wide range of sports teams, and at the same time we have a wide range of fans as well, so some people go to just the soccer games, or some people go to more than just one sport like the basketball games, lacrosse games, field hockey, and they’re just fans for all of the athletics,” Daly said.

Daly explained how more publicity would be great for each team.

“If we had more organization towards the sports teams and the fans to enable them to go to the games, it would benefit both the students here who want to be involved, and the sports teams as well,” Daly said.

When it comes down to what fans give which sports the most support, basketball most definitely holds a record it seems.

“Since we do not have a football team, I think a lot of students go to the basketball games,” Daly said. “We also have the facility to hold more fans in the basketball courts than we do for something say like a swim meet. We just do not have the capacity for it,” Daly said.

As each team continues its season, or works hard in preparation, one very important aspect of athletics holds true: the fans will always bring a sense of pride and spirit to each and every athletic team they support.

Without the cheers, chanting, face paint, and overall adrenaline they give off, our teams would not do nearly as well as they do.

This year, we hope to expect goals met, and big things accomplished by the Owl Nation organization, to help bring our fans together to support if not all, then most of our athletic teams.


Lyndsay Krisel can be contacted at

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