This is the year of Lancer basketball. Since this is only the first official season for Lancer athletic teams to compete in NCAA Division II, I was not expecting anything spectacular this year. Last year I attended a few games, but only to receive a free shirt or compete in half time half-court shots. I knew nothing about the team’s standings or names of the players or anything beyond the location of my favorite seat. I felt no shame in walking into the gym, saying “hi” to a few guys, and then leaving without checking the scores.
Believe me when I say things have changed this year. To start things off, I became good friends with Bryce Oldham who joined the team just last semester. He’s kept up to date with where the team travels and game results since the start of the season, which is more interesting coming from guy on the sidelines. Since he’s in most of my classes this semester, I know when to plan for home games and what teams to watch out for. It was one of these home game suggestions that ended up becoming one of the craziest games this year.
About two weeks ago Bryce showed up to class Monday morning and asked I would tell all of my friends to go to the Saturday home game against Dixie State. I like hanging with my friends and screaming my lungs out as sporting events, so I agreed to spread the word. By the time Saturday came around I noticed that I wasn’t the only one telling people to go. The basketball team had already set a winning streak record of 14-0 leading up to the big game and people obviously wanted to see that number grow. I served food in the ADC that night of the game, and I saw more Lancer Basketball shirts and alumni than anything else. That just psyched me up even more to finish serving mashed potatoes and join the fans.
I booked it from ADC to my apartment, changed into my “Lance Up” shirt, and found my way over to the gym. I could feel my body bracing itself for a night of fist pumping and vocal straining. I couldn’t keep it together much longer, and that’s when I found a line leading outside the door. Before the game even started the gym was at max capacity. I waited patiently to enter as I loudly voiced my discontent with the entire situation. I waited with some friends for nearly half an hour until finally surrendering to the disappointment of fire safety regulations. I wasn’t giving up though. I told Bryce I would cheer on the team on and that’s exactly what I’d do.
Luckily for me, my friend Scott was feeling the same pressure of Lancer pride and found an apartment in the Colony streaming the game online through the Lancer webpage. If I couldn’t be there in person, I would just have to obnoxiously scream at small tv screen instead. We actually had a good number of people watching the game that night, and the microwaved popcorn with salsa added a little more flavor to the mix. By the time I started watching, CBU was up 55-33, which is amazing given that Dixie State was ranked 12th in Division II. Our boys kept up the 3 pointers and possession throughout the rest of the game and won it 100-90. I couldn’t have been more psyched to watch a basketball game, even a live stream version of a game being played literally across the parking lot. Expect to see me losing my mind at the next home game.