42°F & Rain 7 day forecast Friday, October 31, 2014

Grand Valley State University's Beacon Since 1963, Allendale, MI
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To the Heroes at the Grand Valley/Lake Superior State Basketball Game

In my two years as a participant in the basketball pep band, we (and the cheer team) have never been joined in loudening an otherwise silent gym. It is not often that students make an active effort to create a home-team advantage at basketball games. For the past few years, the game ended with the band trying to coax students on their feet – the gym rang with a resounding, “Stand up, students”!

However, the Lake Superior State Basketball game last Thursday was abnormal – there were early fights, several injuries, competitive dunks, and most importantly, cheering students. The scruff that was started on court in the first ten minutes brought many students to their feet, and, admittedly, we were in shock. In my memory, it was the first time that the student body ever came to their feet of their own accord. Excitement flooded the air. Then, select students in the front row, a few of whom were sporting chest paint spelling “GVSU”, began to cheer – “We Are… GV!”.

Encouragement filled the gym; it was the loudest I have ever heard chanting at Grand Valley. For the remainder of the game, these select students in the front continued to stand, cheer, shout, and generally participate in the game. It was jaw-dropping.

To you students who have started this trend – I commend you. Grand Valley, the pep band, and the basketball team are happy to have you. Our team works hard and performs well; they have earned their support from the student body. If every remaining home game this season is filled with the same enthusiasm as Thursday, and if our team performs with the same precision as they did, I have hopes of a NCAA playoff berth this year.

I beg of you, unmasked and unshirted heroes, do not stop – do not yield. Other students seemed surprised or annoyed at your participation, but unrightfully so; our team deserves your support, and, with your model, I hope all students will soon join. Grand Valley could use more students like you.

Nik Schroeder



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