Poor support hampers athletes’ performance

Poor support hampers athletes performance

Randy Georges

Poor support hampers athletes’ performance

Monique Jamerson

School spirit is what motivates athletes to play hard. When the spirit is lacking, the number of wins may take a nose-dive.

Athletes say they look forward to their school backing them, which can better the games’ results.

“We don’t have enough school spirit at Missouri Southern,” said DeWann Farris, senior criminal justice major. “I mean you can never have too much.”

Farris said when players have their school behind them 100 percent, it can make a difference in the overall turnout.

“It not only helps us do better, but it makes the game more exciting,” Farris said. “If more people respect what we do, professors and students, then I believe it will show in our games.”

Nick Vandyke, senior history major and a member of Gang Green, said school spirit has been suppressed due to rules that Sallie Beard, athletic director, has enforced.

“Beard told members of Gang Green that they could no longer do specific cheers in the crowds,” Vandyke said. “This is a problem because it is left up to us to help promote the school’s spirit.”

He said this problem along with others decrease student participation.

“When non-students outnumber the student population at a home-game, it in so many ways kills the student’s morale,” Vandyke said.

Southern has been known for its athletic program but one student feels like her sport has not only received a small amount of student support but has not received recognition.

Daneé Jones, senior accounting major said the school spirit at Southern is mediocre.

Jones is a member of the track and field team.

“I feel that the only sports that get support are football and basketball because they bring in more money,” Jones said.

She said she takes into account that people have families so it’s difficult for them to come to the home games.

“We won the MIAA indoor conference championship in 2004, and it seemed as though no one knew about it,” she said. “That should have been publicized everywhere.”

Jones said if no one knows about the

sports, how are students to attend the games.

“Although we don’t get a lot of support at home, it feels good to meet people in the Joplin community who are avid fans of the sports programs,” she said.

The coaches at Southern differ with Jones.

They said the spirit at Southern is great and they are fortunate to get the support.

John Ware, head football coach, agrees.

“I have only been here for 10 months, but from what I have seen, the school’s spirit has been a success,” Ware said.

He said he has not really noticed the lack of school spirit.

“I think the school has done some great things to get the students involved,” Ware said.

He said that one thing that may be hurting the spirit is the lack of fraternities and sororities.

“If we had more organizations on campus it would raise student awareness and support,” Ware said.

He said the faculty; staff and student support is what gives the football team a home court advantage.

“The campus environment is very pro-active in supporting the athletes,” Ware said.

He said he loves this area and appreciates the support as well as the student body.

Maryann Mitts, head women’s basketball coach, said the overall attendance at the women’s basketball games is outstanding as far as the Lionbackers’ support.

“I think the student section could increase,” she said. “We would like a more energetic group of students to add to the already stable and consistent Lionbackers.”

Mitts said she knows that everyone is trying to increase spirit, but the effort should increase.

“I think there is great support between athletes and I would like this to be shared with the student body,” she said.

Mitts said she hopes that students see the athletic events as a time to have fun and be entertained as well as entertain.

Robert Corn, head men’s basketball coach, said the school spirit depends on the product.

“If the athletes are producing a good product then the school supports better,” he said

Corn said the athletic programs on campus are doing well so in return the school has an increased spirit.

“We want the students to have the attitude in which they want to know when the next game is so they can attend,” he said.

Corn said having fun at the games and cheering is apart of the college experience and students should enjoy while they can.

“We appreciate the support from the students and hope it will continue,” he said.