Spirit soars for Saturday’s game
What began as a rumble steadily built up to a roar, as buzz about the Associated Press No. 17 Cougars’ game against Texas Tech Saturday permeated campus life this week, creating a greater sense of community throughout Houston.
‘It puts Houston back on the map,’ mechanical engineering junior Levi Tatum said. ‘Future recruits will consider UH now when they might not have before.” ‘
Similar sentiments were echoed throughout the campus.
‘Everyone around campus is talking about the game,’ accounting junior James Kunnacherry said. ‘People are on Facebook talking about how UH is moving up in the ranks.
‘ ‘It feels good; I have more pride in my school.’ ‘
Some students expressed beliefs that increased exposure from the football program will bring national recognition to the university.’
‘Athletic programs are how colleges get out there,’ pre-pharmacy sophomore Dimitra Papadopoulos said.
The attention may shine a new light on UH for prospective students looking to choose a college.’
‘It makes the University more appealing to incoming freshmen,’ Kunnacherry said.’ ‘UT and Duke are known for their athletic programs; now they will look more closely at UH’s.”
In addition to national recognition, a successful football team gives students bragging rights.’
‘People from high school sometimes give you crap about the school you picked because you see those other guys on TV,’ mechanical engineering junior Mike Krill said. ‘Now we see UH; it feels good to be sitting at home and see your school on ESPN.”
Pre-pharmacy sophomore Ashley Dvorkin-Miller said she feels this growing enthusiasm is what draws new students into campus life.’
‘Going to these events and the more you’re at a university, it begins to feel more like you are a part of it,’ Dvorkin-Miller said.’
Local retailers have also responded to UH’s success and subsequent student excitement by making Cougar apparel more accessible.’
‘It’s not as hard to find apparel now,’ Papadopoulos said.’ ‘Before, stores would have a big UT and A&M section, but only one or two UH items.’
Shifting the momentum of an athletic program or even of campus spirit can happen quickly, said Tatum. ‘All it takes is one good season.”
Head Coach Kevin Sumlin said his players were greeted by cheering fans on Monday outside the alumni center as they headed to practice.
‘It’s great to see the excitement and enthusiasm in the city and on our campus,’ Sumlin said. ‘
Coach Sumlin said he sensed a new energy while visiting classrooms, walking around campus and even from fans approaching him in the city when he stops to get gas.’
‘There’s been a huge boost in morale,’ Sumlin said.’ ‘I’m excited for our fans, for our city, for our alumni ‘- this is great.’ There’s no better feeling.’