I always get a little jealous when March Madness comes around every year.
It is not because I wish I went to Division I schools like UCLA or USC. I like my school and am proud of what I am part of here at La Verne.
But every now and then, I get a little jealous because I believe our school lacks one thing that separates us from the Bruins or the Trojans: a lack of student support for our athletic programs.
Sure, I understand why you can argue this is true. You can say that ULV is not a big school, thus it does not have great sports or the best athletes, so it does not deserve to have adequate support from the student community, faculty, alumni or, for that matter, the entire city of La Verne.
Why? Yes, we are a Division III school.
Yet, we still have remarkable athletes and strong programs.
A recent example as reported in last week’s issue, women’s basketball forward Trenecca Jones was named Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference player of the year while also leading her team to another match up at Chapman in first round of the NCAA tournament.
Who knows how much farther the team would have gone in the tournament if some of the ULV community made the trek to Orange County to support our Leopards after having a solid season?
My point is that if you care even just a little bit about our school or our athletes that compete for our university then you need to make it known.
We can all step up our support for our sports. Whether you like football, baseball, track and field, water polo, basketball, tennis or volleyball, there is always a sport that you can support by just showing up at the games and rooting for the Leopards.
Trust me, it means more to athletes than you know.
It’s a sight to see when students show up in numbers; many of them are friends or acquaintances that you go to school with everyday.
It makes athletes want to play, compete and work that much harder because you are cheering them on to succeed and do great for our university.
Anyone who has ever played sports competitively can attest to this. You perform better when you are rooted on by your peers and those who care.
What if you don’t like sports or you chose not to attend games because you do not have time?
Well, as busy as most of us are, there are always a few games or matches we can fit in our hectic work and school schedules.
If you don’t like any sports, you could make it a social event and go to the games with friends. Even if you aren’t watching, your presence makes a difference.
The point is: Just show up!
It doesn’t matter the reason, do it because you care about our sports, our athletes and our school.
For the few of you who have been avid sports supporter, keep up the good work.
For those of you who have not shown quite enough love to our sports programs and athletes that sacrifice so much to compete do this: go out to a game or match and cheer for our teams as much as you can.
Make it fun, paint your face, dance around, do a cheer or get all of your friends to go. Maybe then we will not only be successful on the field or the court but as the ULV community.
Galo Pesantes, a junior communications major, is sports editor of the Campus Times. He can be reached by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.