As students pile into Campbellsville for the beginning of a new year, one can not help but notice all the activities and athletics around campus, buzzing about the fall season that lay ahead.
If you’ve already attended an athletic event on campus this season, you may have noticed a little bit more energy in the air, than normal.
Seniors,Matthew Schmuck and Cody Wills decided at the end of the school year, last semester that something needed to be changed about the student fan-base of Campbellsville University Athletics.
The twosome put their heads together to brainstorm ideas about how they could improve the support for the athletics during the year.
Bringing a Pep Club to Campbellsville University for the first time in school history has definitely earned Schmuck and Wills, their stripes as a CU Tiger.
“Schmuck and I came up with the idea of the Maroon Goons,” Wills said.
The Maroon Goons are a group of crazy, energetic students who strive to attend all the games of Campbellsville University Athletics.
“The Maroon Goons welcome anyone and everyone who wants to join,” Schmuck said. “We just want to support all the sports teams here at CU to give them that extra push when they need it. We’re really big on teams supporting other teams too. We felt there was a lack of that in years past.”
The reason the Schmuck and Wills started the club was because they felt school spirit was not a priority on campus or at athletic events.
The two wanted to bring some excitement to home games and give fans an opportunity to let loose from all the stresses that are associated with going to college.
“My favorite part of being a Maroon Goon is that I can be wild and ruthless,” says Wills. “We get in the other teams heads, while cheering our team on. Teams don’t want to play CU at home, that’s a fact!”
The Goons try to set a theme for each game they attend. For example, the CU Football team played the first season opener at home on Saturday, September 1, and the Maroon Goons sponsored a Neon Paint War and tailgate before the game, on campus.
Before the game began, the students gathered on the Band Practice Field across from the Men’s Village and made good use of five gallons of neon paint.
“Covering everyone in neon paint while music played really got the fans excited for the game,” said Wills. “We want to bring that same atmosphere to every home CU game, no matter the sport. We are such a small school, that everyone knows everyone. This is a great way for players and fans to interact.”
The Goons were back at it for a “Black Out” at the Sept. 5 CU home volleyball game when the Tigers hosted Mid-South Conference rival, Lindsey Wilson College.
Wearing all black, the students and fans cheered on the Lady Tigers. Some students went as far as painting their upper bodies with players’ numbers on their chests.
“We absolutely love the support the fans show us when they come,” said Jackie Schweiger, a member of the Lady Tiger Volleyball team. “Nothing gets us more excited than to hear that our fans are excited to watch us play.”
The Maroon Goons have sold t-shirts with the logo “Maroon Goons” on the front to fund all of their Pep Club needs.
“It’s free to join,” Schmuck said, “but the shirts cost $5 apiece. All the proceeds from the shirts go straight to the club.
“When someone buys a shirt, they are pretty much giving a $5 donation to the club for all of the awesome ideas we have in store for this year. Then we give you a pretty epic shirt in return. It’s a win-win on all levels.”
The newly adopted motto of the Maroon Goons is: “Tiger Pride, it’s what we do! If you can’t see, then stand up too!”
This “stand up and cheer” mentality is what Schmuck and Wills use to get people to join the Maroon Goons, bringing excitement to athletics both on campus and in the stands.
By using a Twitter account the two keep followers up to date on the themes for each game they are attending, to spread the word to the student body.
The two promote each game and motivate students to come out to the games.
“The turn out for each game has been awesome so far,” Wills said, with his game face on. “We really didn’t expect it jump off this quick, but everyone loves the themes. The more people that show up and participate, the easier it is for us to come up with new ideas. I love it!”
To stay up to speed on all things Maroon Goons, follow @MaroonGoonsCU on Twitter, and “like” the Maroon Goons on Facebook.
Wed, September 19, 2012
by Kelly Moyer