The Student News Site of St. Joseph's University

The Hawk News

The Student News Site of St. Joseph's University

The Hawk News

The Student News Site of St. Joseph's University

The Hawk News

'A voice for the voiceless'
Kiley O’Brien ’25, Assistant Features Editor • July 18, 2024
Fit to be king
Lilli Dellheim '25 M.A., Special to the Hawk • July 13, 2024

Wisdom from the original Hawk


Creator of Hawk mascot calls for more spirit

The most defiant and feisty cheers in the sports world today are “The Hawk Will Never Die” and “Go Hawks Go!” Simply shouting these cheers during a Saint Joseph’s University game actually motivates the fans as well as energizes the teams to play better than their best. The next time you attend a Hawk game, be conscious of this phenomena.

When a team is struggling to stay ahead or to get back into a game, what will make the difference? Do you think fans who are hopeful that their team will survive, but remain silent in the stands can make a difference? Or, do you believe fans who become vocal and shout their support for their team might have a bearing on the outcome of a game?

Consider, if you will, the different roles of Hawk teams versus Hawk fans.

The team’s role is to do their best on the court or on the particular playing field of their specific sport, i.e. doing exactly what their coaches have taught and drilled into them. Their role is not to cheer. They focus their energies on the game being played using the skills they have been taught.

What is the fan’s role? This is where the fans, in essence, become the extra player on the court or field. Can you imagine any coach playing one less player than the game allows? This would clearly give the opponents an advantage in any game.

I attended the Richmond men’s basketball game on Jan. 14, 2017 and watched every game that was televised to study the fan support. My premise is that St. Joe’s fans are quiet when the team is losing, but become slightly more vocal when the team is winning or with the possibility of winning. The louder the cheering, the more energizing the atmosphere becomes to the team.

Legendary Hawk basketball coach, Dr. Jack Ramsay, told me that he relied on the fans and their cheering to help win games. Even one of Ramsay’s All-Big Five players, Joe Spratt, a season ticket holder, has voiced the same thought. Cheering fans make the difference on how players play a game.

My question: does St. Joe’s have a genuine cheerLEADER who can energize the crowd? This individual need not be a pom-pom waver. They only need a megaphone and to know a few chants that will energize the fans and the team.

In my day, the term cheerleader applied to someone who continuously inspired and led the cheering of the fans in the stands. The primary purpose of a cheerLEADER is to lead the crowd, raise school spirit and motivate the athletes to give their best efforts.

CheerLEADERS are responsible for encouraging fans to root for their teams. It’s hard to convince the fans and the team to get excited when it doesn’t even look like you’re excited in the stands. CheerLEADERS must pride themselves on leading school spirit with enthusiasm as opposed to merely attending games and watching the action on the court, then fill in with occasional routines during time-outs. Merely waving pom-poms is not the answer.

Players and coaches rely on the extra player (fans) to cheer the team on whether they are winning or losing. This is your Hawk team. They need and deserve your full support to be victorious.

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