Flashback to nearly two years ago: Feb. 26, 2015.
Stella Hall director Jeremy Hunt and senior business major Ricky Hall watched Mid-America Christian University’s fans plop themselves into Texas Wesleyan’s Sid Richardson Center’s home stands during a men’s basketball game.
“They were rooting for their team in our home stands and me and Ricky we just really disappointed at the lack of respect that they had for our team and our student section,” Hunt said.
Wesleyan’s men’s basketball team lost 81-76 that night, and the two dedicated themselves to creating a respectable student cheering section.
“That following summer,” Hunt said. “I met [senior business management major] Omar Dominguez and he was like, ‘Yo man, we should do a spirit organization’ and I was like, ‘Dude, yeah, and let’s call it Ram Squad.’”
Ram Squad became an official organization in January 2016, focusing on promoting the men’s basketball team. There were 10 members.
Now Ram Squad has expanded in both numbers and event coverage. At Midnight Madness, the squad performed a dance and threw spirit wear to the crowd.
The organization is open to all students, faculty, and alumni willing to support the squad and a membership fee is being decided on soon, said organization President Cameron Bennett.
“This year as far as expanding we’ve been going to different sporting events for different teams and sports organizations like volleyball but also we’ll be going to basketball as well,” said Bennett, a sophomore computer science major. “We’ve gone to some soccer games supporting them.”
The squad recruited more students both last spring and earlier this semester, Bennett said, and has taught the new members what the organization is about. Ram Squad now has about 20 members.
Hunt and Hall originally established the program to have a good time and enjoy the sport they loved.
“We just wanted to create an organization, a collective of people,” Hunt said, “who wanted to enjoy going to thing that we loved, which was basketball, and to be a part of something where there are other people that just come together and have a good time.”
Freshman Qualon Gray, a new member of Ram Squad, understands those ideals.
“I see Ram Squad as a bunch of good people who want to get together and enjoy basketball games, volleyball games, football games, and just school events in general,” Gray said, who has not decided on a major. “We want to make it fun because especially nowadays people are too cool to get up and cheer but not Ram Squad. It is cool to get up in cheer.”
Gray was recruited this semester.
“Well, I saw their booth and I saw people that I knew so of course of I was interested,” Gray said. “It was like, ‘Oh, it’s Ram Squad and they go to the games and cheer.’ I had something like that in high school and I wasn’t in it but I wanted to be. This was my chance to be in it.”
Hunt didn’t find the expansion unexpected.
“I expected a lot of buying in from a lot of different people because we saw the way it made people feel,” Hunt said. “We saw the way it brought people together. It didn’t matter what you looked like, where you were from, what major you was, whatever the case was as long as you loved basketball, you love having a good time, and you loved your school.”
Bennett noticed Ram Squad has been getting better known on campus.
“Well, basically this last year we’ve noticed that our name has come up a lot more,” Bennett said. “We’re starting to get talked about a lot more. The bigger we get the bigger expectations we are going to have from other people in order to keep that greatness we’ve already started since last year.”
Even with Ram Squad now cheering a variety of sports, Bennett plans to keep the focus on basketball.
“We’ll make sure we get basketball all the way covered showing this is who we care for,” he said. “The other sports and organizations not necessarily because the people within the basketball team come and speak to us, we know each other by name, and they interact with us. Now that we are building a relationship with other teams, I feel as though there will be something like that just as big down the line with the volleyball team. We’re starting to know them and they’re getting to know people within Ram Squad building that connection.”
Gray is glad to see Ram Squad working to branch out to other sports.
“I feel it’s good because that way other sports don’t feel left out,” Gray said. “Not only is it good for those sports, it’s good for the students too because a lot of them that are in it had never been to a volleyball game. It’s a good experience to go and see all the sports on campus. You should go at least to one game of every sport a year.”
Hunt’s only worry about the expansion is that it might wear down all the members.
“My biggest issue that I have — it’s more of a miscommunication — is that a lot of people will see the Ram Squad as a certain group of people and they will want this group of people to be at every single event,” Hunt said. “Those guys have lives and they need that energy reserved for other organizations and other events that are taking place.”
Hunt said Ram Squad is heading in the right direction, and toward his ultimate goal.
“I think my biggest hope for Ram Squad and for people to understand is that we are all Ram Squad,” Hunt said. “It’s not just like this group of people. I just don’t want them to forget the original reason why they started. It was because they love their school, they love going to the games, and they love the people they are hanging around with.”
Students interested in participating in Ram Squad should contact one of the following people: Cameron Bennett at firstname.lastname@example.org, Darien Edwards at email@example.com, Anthony Harper II at firstname.lastname@example.org, or DeLisa Taylor at email@example.com.