Bringing the noise: YSU hoping new student section brings competitive edge, fun for students


YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) – It is a staple at college basketball games, a loud and wild student section, that can affect the outcomes of games.

“That was a lot of pressure for that girl to hit those free throws,” said freshman guard Malia Magestro. “Definitely those boys sitting up there and trying to make her miss I think helped a lot.”

“Our men’s team pulled through to have that girl miss those free throws,” junior guard Mady Aulbach said. “I wouldn’t been able to shoot those free throws with all those guys behind the hoop.”

It is something that has been missing from the Beeghly Center but the Youngstown State University men’s and women’s basketball teams are trying to change things up. This year, the athletes met with representatives from the student body and within hours, a Twitter, Instagram and email account was setup.

And now, a boots-on-the-ground campaign to get the fans in the stands.

“I am going out this week on campus, I am buying them tee shirts, we are going to do everything we can in our power to really create some home court advantages with the students,” said men’s basketball head coach Jarrod Calhoun.

A section up top is designated for students right next to the band. Coach Calhoun says it is a clear win for the teams and can be a big win for the students as well.

“Lets be honest, selfishly it helps us but I think it helps the students,” Calhoun said. “I think it gives them somewhere to go, gives them a chance to meet each other. So many of these kids have been through so much with the Covid and not being able to go to games. I think it is a win win for everybody.”

“I think it would be amazing to just see people out again, just to hear people scream, yell, lose their minds,” senior Michael Akuchie said. “I think it will make a big difference, we love when we are on a scoring run and people are cheering. I love when I dunk and people are screaming. I am excited, I hope everyone else is excited, I can’t wait.”

The men open their home schedule on Friday against St. Thomas at the Beeghly Center. The women started their season earlier in November and will travel to play Detroit Mercy on Saturday.

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