Jaci Kohn || Assistant Editor
August signals the beginning of a new semester and marks a time of building excitement over Racer athletics.
Last year’s national attention paired with unprecedented expectations for several teams attribute to the added excitement this year.
It’s not just upperclassmen who are adding to the anticipation. Freshmen are already getting involved more than ever before.
“I do truly look forward to Murray State sports,” said freshman Autumn Olds from Ashland City, Tenn. “I plan on attending just about all sporting events and I am so excited for football season,”
Morris White, director of marketing and promotions said Racer athletics is one of the best ways for students of any age to get involved on campus.
“Part of the college experience is about having fun with your friends,” White said. “Athletics provides that avenue because everyone is there for the common goal of supporting the teams.”
White said the cheering section last year was exciting and full of energy at all times but this year he is hoping for more.
“I’m expecting this years freshman class to be part of the most energized student cheering section in the country,” White said. “Their youthful energy will be important in helping Racer athletics achieve one of its goals of being an intimidating, tough place to play.”
To get the word out about athletics this year White said he and his staff set up tables at Summer Orientation sessions. By doing so they were able to interact with incoming freshmen and get them excited about the school year.
“I also think the success and national exposure of our men’s basketball team adds to their excitement,” White said. “They want to be associated with winning programs and many of our teams provide that experience.”
The Stampede is the official Student cheering section. It costs $10 to join and allows members certain perks through out the different athletic seasons.
The Stampede boasted 361 total members at press time. The Freshman class currently has nearly three times as many members as any other class.
“I’m happy with where the numbers are right now,” said White, “because we are ahead of wherewe were at this time last year. “Our goal, however, is to have over 1,000 members this year.”
In an effort to entice more students to join the Stampede, White has issued a challenge to Murray State students via Facebook and Twitter.
“If we get 1,000 or more students to join by October 25th, I will shave my head at the first home woman’s basketball game,” White said. “I will also let a Stampede member pie me in the face!”
White believes it’s energy that makes a student section great. He hopes to see another high energy section that rivals last year’s Stampede.
“Not only the freshmen, but all students need to bring a high level of energy and enthusiasm to every home game,” said White. “They are the reason games are so much fun.”
White said he would really like to see more students attending sports like soccer, women’s basketball, volleyball, baseball and softball.
“Women’s track returns one of the fastest women in the country, and our tennis teams are preparing for another championship season,” he said. “They can even check out our high-powered rifle teams.”