Student section brings energy to games

by Sports Editor Jacob Cole

A loud crowd can cause a disturbance, but a loud student section can cause problems for opposing teams.

A student section organizes cheers, jeers and everything in between to get in the head of opposing teams. North Alabama’s student section, the Roar Zone, holds its own as a fierce student section.

Students can take advantage of free items when they attend home events on special occasions in the student section such as football, basketball and other sporting events. Along with exclusive items, students can attend home games for free with a valid MANE card and participating the student section is fun for any student.

The Roar Zone sits on the visitors’ bleachers for football games at Braly Stadium, and it sits on the lower level behind the bench at Flowers Hall. The Roar Zone makes an impact on football games with noisemakers and other means to distract the opponent. The real damage comes in the enclosed space during a basketball game at Flowers Hall.

Women’s Head Basketball Coach Missy Tibur said she thought the crowd grew at Flowers Hall this year.

“I felt our crowds this year for women’s basketball were much improved,” Tibur said. “Playing in front of a supportive home crowd helps tremendously.”

With the inclusion of the Roar Zone in 2016-17, Flowers Hall has become a hostile environment for any opponents entering. This unwelcoming environment causes communication problems and can frustrate visiting teams. The Roar Zone knows when to get loud, but also when to stay quiet for the Lions to get plays off.

Tibur said she wants the Roar Zone to be best student section in the country.

“I’d like nothing more than for our student section to create an identity for itself as the rowdiest and best sixth man in the league,” Tibur said.

Not only does the student section mess with opponents’ game plans, but it also inspires the home team and excites the players throughout the game.

Men’s Head Basketball Coach Bobby Champagne said he thinks the student section can be the deciding factor for games at Flowers Hall.

“A rowdy student section is a very important part of college basketball game,” Champagne said.  “The players definitely get excited and feed off of the crowd. You can definitely tell the difference when a student section is into a game and is loud.”

 The student section effects the games in ways normal crowds can not, Champagne said. A general crowd helps cheer on the Lions, but a student section causes problems throughout the game because of the intensity of the students. When the students are loud, Flowers Hall becomes a hostile environment compared to no other in the country.

Coach Tibur said it is exciting to play in front of a loud home crowd, and the players enjoy the student section’s support throughout the year.

“It’s awesome to play in front of your peers and when they are rowdy, our players feed off of it,” Tibur said. “When the student section is pumped, it inspires our players to perform at a higher level.”