Yell Like Hell

Despite what you may have heard, school spirit at Northern Kentucky University is not dying.

It’s true that student attendance at basketball games is on the decline (an article ran concerning said topic earlier this semester). But you wouldn’t be able to tell if you walked into Regents Hall on Feb. 5th, 2009.

A few hundred students, sectioned off by organization, packed the basketball teams’ former stomping grounds to ‘Yell like Hell’ in support for both the men’s and women’s teams.

It’s unfortunate that the Norse Cheerleaders weren’t in the running, because their routine to kick-start the annual event set the bar for all to follow. But each group brought their own swagger to the hardwood. Each organization took 30 seconds at center court to yell in support of the Norse

Organizations came in all sizes, from around two handfuls in Residential Housing Association to battalion sized, like Delta Gamma Sorority. But the size of the group didn’t matter. What mattered was who could out yell the other.

Chants came in all varietals, ranging from well-organized routines (Kappa Delta) to mosh pits (done only by TKE, who nearly crushed me in a stampede to center court). While some sported jeans and shirts, other groups and individuals touted extravagant get-ups.

Delta Gamma adorned pink aprons (check) and Kappa Delta had their very own black and gold ‘Yell like Hell’ t-shirts. While these and other organizations dressed up for the event, one other dressed down – literally.

With a sword and sunglasses at the ready, freshman and proud ATO member Rob Hengelbrok strutted across court, giving his best impersonation of a Viking, and doing so in nothing but a loin cloth. He must have been a method actor because other than belting out his name and class to me, he did nothing but run around like a barbarian. It was Hengelbrok’s energy, along with the hundreds of others in attendance that made ‘Yell like Hell’ the pep rally on steroids it always is.

While other events preceded the yelling – a helmet contest and the announcement of the 2009 Homecoming Prince and Princess (won by sophomores’ Wade Miller and Tracy Osborne), ‘Yell like Hell’ symbolized something more important than anything else that took place – Norse pride.

Despite the low attendance at home games, and a lack of interest from many students, the organizations at ‘Yell like Hell’ became a reminder to everyone that school spirit is not dead. There are people all over campus that bleed black and gold, and the fraternities and sororities made sure that even the most dedicated of Norse fans’ voices were heard. Their presence in Regents embodied the school spirit that thousands of students across campus have, and they yelled like hell to prove it.