Article by: Lindsey Larsen
They’re loud; they’re proud, and yes they do make a difference.
Call them the sixth man, D-Crew, cheerleaders or just crazy fans, but they are at all of the games giving the athletes support.
Athletes think student attendance plays a large part in their teams overall performance. Even though fans may never hit the homerun or spike the ball for the game-winning point, Dixie State Athletes said having students support them makes a difference to them.
Crazy crowds showed up to a volleyball game against rival school BYU-Hawaii on Wednesday. Libero Alex Anderson, a junior integrated studies major from Prescott, Arizona, said having a large crowd at that particular game to support them helped the team play better than they ever had before.
“It gets us pumped up,” Anderson said. “When they’re cheering for us it is like they want us to do good. So I think it is just having the support behind us. It is like we are playing not only for a win, but for them.”
Attending athletic events shows more than just support for the athletes, said outfielder Donald Glover, a senior integrated studies major from Las Vegas.
“I think that [student attendance] shows the school support,” Glover said. “Even if it isn’t the most popular sport, having students in the stands really shows support for the team and the school.”
However, some athletes wish that their sport received more support from the students.
Forward Mindi Beckstrom, a senior communications major from Nibley, said she thinks that people aren’t as aware when the soccer team is having a successful season, and she wonders if that is part of the reason they don’t get as much support as other teams.
“I think our team’s performance improves because we want to look good and do well,” Beckstrom said.
Some athletes believe that part of the reasons students don’t come to events seems to be because they don’t know about them.
“A lot of times people are totally willing to come support, but they just don’t know about it,” Anderson said.
Lack of promotion seems to be a large part of the reason athletics doesn’t have more student support, Anderson said. The volleyball match against BYU-Hawaii was promoted through Dixie State University faculty members, and students were offered free pizza for being one of the first people at the game.
Most of the teams have schedules available in the student activities center, so people can know when events are happening. Many of the teams also have Facebook pages for fans to stay connected to the team.