Campus students cheer at eighth-grade Tigers game to show support
By Patrick McDonald
The quarterback throws the ball, and it lands in the wide receiver’s hot little hands. He runs the ball into the endzone for a touchdown, and as he spikes the pigskin into the ground, you would expect the crowd to go wild.
This is not the case for the eighth grade Belton Tigers team, as they have few spectators attending their games.
But some students from UMHB decided to make a change for them. They saw the need for encouragement for the young NFL players-to-be and thought of a solution. They would cheer for the Belton Tigers at their game.
Junior Lydia Schmidt said, “We got the idea from a similar event that happened in Austin. A small team, like the Tigers, needed help and attention. So some people in the community asked ESPN broadcasters to follow the game and hired the Goodyear blimp to fly overhead. We just wanted to love them.”
And love them they did. They came dressed in red T-shirts and carrying paint and noisemakers. Though not many students were able to make it to the game, those who did show made a difference. While the sun shone brightly and increased the temperature of the day, they stuck around the entire time, yelling for the Tigers with sweat pouring down their faces.
“It was a great experience to make these kids’ day. Some of the students were really energetic, and they had to be since there were only about ten people from UMHB,” sophomore Mike Kroll said.
The students did a great job, cheering that would have rivaled the greatest fans. They were loud and received some weird looks from the parents of players and young cheerleaders on the blacktop. The Tigers would end up winning the game with a shut-out against Midway, 12-0.
Coach Josh Davis said, “What the students did for the players was very much appreciated. Apart from parents coming to see their son play or their daughter cheer, there are not many people that do come to see these kids. They were surprised to have people being loud for them and even asked me a couple times who it was cheering for them.”
Junior Alanna McFarland said, “It was all worth it. The time was well spent not only with friends from the university, but with kids we did not even know. Everyone should come along when the next game comes around. They may have to pay $2 to get in, but there is nothing else that they would be doing.”