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Chico State's independent student newspaper

The Orion

Chico State's independent student newspaper

The Orion

Chico State's independent student newspaper

The Orion

Chants pump up the bleachers

Photo illustration by Norma Loya Chico State’s shirtless cheering section was founded by two resident advisers who befriended many players on the women’s soccer team.
Photo illustration by Norma Loya
Chico State’s shirtless cheering section was founded by two resident advisers who befriended many players on the women’s soccer team.

“OOOOOOOO!”

“KILL ’EM!”

These chants can be heard ringing throughout the University Soccer Stadium this fall during women’s soccer games. The source of this heckling? A band of shirtless student supporters.

Two Esken Hall resident advisers have rallied their residents to support the Chico State women’s soccer team and bring some attitude back to the bleachers.

“We want people to be amped and juiced to be at the game and support the team,” said Quirin Born, a senior history and political science major.

Born and fellow RA Joseph Alfonso, a sophomore criminal justice major, started the group after making friends with a few of the players. They encouraged some of their residents to go to the games with them and make posters for the first few home games.

The group got more intense when Alfonso decided the supporters would go shirtless and paint their chests for a Sept. 22 game, spelling out “WILDCATS.”

“We knew a bunch of soccer girls and we wanted to show our support and go crazy for them,” Alfonso said.

Born and Alfonso are all for pumping up the crowd, but both make sure the residents of the group know to keep comments positive. Aside from commenting on a few questionable officiating calls, Alfonso says negative remarks are not tolerated.

Still, the group has made itself heard. The members really feed off each other when cheering on the team, said Nick Mencarini, a freshman construction management major.

“I hope they can hear us,” Mencarini said. “Because we’re pretty damn loud.”

The Wildcats can definitely hear them. And as freshman forward Shelby Lanksbury said, it affects how they play.

“Anytime you have someone behind you cheering you on, it makes you work harder and gets you more pumped for the game,” she said. “It’s great for the team to have more people come out and support us like this.”

Lanksbury also said that the support from the stands fills the role of family members who are too far away to attend the games.

The group has received positive feedback from the team and other fans, who have said they bring a lot of energy to the games.

However, Born and Alfonso don’t want to stop here. They envision a traditional soccer atmosphere, complete with classic “¡OLÉ!” chants when goals are scored and a mob of supporters filling the stadium seats.

The guys plan on attending basketball games once soccer season ends. They haven’t missed a home game yet and will go to extremes, such as missing shifts at work, to make the rest.

They say they will maintain the shirtless attire as long as weather and health permit.

Alfonso’s goal for these shirtless fanatics is to trigger a domino effect, with more groups coming out and supporting their team.

“We want it to be a big deal and we want people to be juiced to be there,” Born said. “We want soccer players to be out there enjoying the game, no matter what’s happening on the field.”

 

Nicholas Woodard can be reached at [email protected] or @nwoodard25 on Twitter.

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