Jordan Smith | Sports Writer
Sports unite both fans and athletes as they engage in the action together. One of the most important, yet sometimes underrated component of sports is the fans. Fans come from all over to support their favorite teams, no matter the distance or the affiliation.
After the 5 -1 blowout that the Bears soccer team handed to the Purdue Boilermakers on Aug. 26, junior goalkeeper Sara Martinson said she felt the fans played a key role in the victory.
“To have the number of fans that we had tonight was absolutely so cool. You know, it always helps to have a great crowd that’s encouraging and cheering and supporting you,” Martinson said. “You kind of get a little chuckle out of it sometimes with some of the things that they say. It’s fun to just have that interaction with the crowd, and I think having so many people out here supporting Baylor soccer, that’s a huge compliment because they took their Friday night and came out and supported Baylor soccer, and that’s a really huge, cool and awesome thing.”
Paul Jobson, head soccer coach, sees the fans as a huge boost for his talented bunch of athletes.
“It’s huge to have a crowd,” Jobson said. “The noise factor and the cheering — we had some smart soccer fans in the crowd tonight that did some great cheers that were awesome for the momentum of the girls. It really just feeds into them.”
Senior cross country star Peyton Thomas is also delighted to see the fans in the stands whenever a meet comes around.
“It means a tremendous amount,” Thomas said. “When people notice us, it’s great. It means that we are being recognized by our community, that people are following us, and it’s great encouragement to know that there are fans out there that want to see us perform well.”
Although the athletes love the support from their fans, the fans enjoy going out and being supportive as well.
San Antonio sophomore Drew Heckman has been going to football games since 2009 because of his love for Baylor.
“It means everything to me. It means that I can come out and support my school and watch a sport that I love,” Heckman said. “I love to go out and support the guys that have made a real dedication to something that I love.”
Kansas City freshman Lauren Fricke went to the Baylor Lady Bears versus Kansas basketball game last season in Kansas City and said her experience was amazing.
“It was exciting, especially because people that I didn’t know who they were like greeting me and super excited because I was wearing Baylor clothes and that I was already part of the family,” Fricke said.
Now that she is a student at Baylor, Fricke looks forward to the football tradition.
“I’m excited for the Line because that’s going to be something that is going to be completely insane since I’m going to be surrounded by people that I already know and will get to know,” Fricke said.
Fans will get a chance to show their support 6:30 p.m. today as the Baylor football team takes on Northwestern State at McLane Stadium.