Mercer Maniacs attempt to branch out

Mercer Maniacs is a student-led organization that attends Mercer sporting events. It has received heat from students for not attending all sporting events.

Students have begun to ask why the student-led Mercer Maniacs do not come out to the women’s basketball games while they pack out the men’s games.

The organization purpose is to provide a student section for every athletic event, according to Blaze Jeffery, president of Mercer Maniacs.

“We started as Hoffman’s Hooligans a few years back because no one was going to the basketball games,”  Jeffrey said. “The last two years, we have really tried to expand out from men’s basketball by going to as many sporting events as possible.”

At the beginning of the school year, the Maniacs made a goal to attended at least one sporting event of every team on campus.In an effort to support Mercer athletics, the Maniacs decorated locker rooms and tailgated for football and soccer games.

”We are actually planning two games for women’s basketball this season,”  Jeffery said. “We attended one on Saturday, Feb. 7, and the other will be Feb. 28. The one this past week weekend was solely for the women, and the 28th will be a senior night double-header.”

The plans are to decorate the locker rooms for the games and possible give away free t-shirts for the game on the 28th.

The Maniacs have also scheduled the buses for the SoCon tournament on the March 6 so that they can support both men’s and women’s, as the women will play on that first day.

“We are picking up are support for them, which started last Saturday,” said Jeffery.

One of the possibilities that the Maniacs have tried to look into is a group of Maniacs that support individual sports, almost like pods for each team. They did a sign-up to see which people were interested in which sports.

“We have thrown around the idea of different committees for these sports – Lamb’s Lunatics for football as well as a group for softball called Sike’s Psychos,” said Jeffery. “The problem with that has been finding students who are interested in doing things like that and coordinating with us.”

The Maniacs plans for the future at least is to try and get as much support for each team, but the students are vital to this operation. The more that students get out and support, the better the student section is. Jeffery wants students to come and enjoy the games

“Get there early and grab a front row seat,” said Jeffery. “Everyone is considered a Mercer Maniac, and I just want our students to get out there and experience it even if you aren’t a huge sports fan.”

One of the other events that the Maniacs will be sponsoring is Breaking it with Bacon as they attempt to break the Hawkins arena for a second time this season. Students will receive free pieces of bacon on the Feb. 12 men’s game.  This is an effort to try and bring a tailgate-like atmosphere to the basketball games, and if it goes well, the Maniacs may look into doing more events like it.

Overall, Jeffery has high hopes for the student section down the road.

“One day, I hope that maybe we can get the whole student section painted up or, if not, then at least get the whole place packed out for every game, shaking the arena with the possibility of running the student section the entire length of the court like Gonzaga has,” said Jeffery.

The women’s basketball games attendance is abysmal, to say the least, and they deserve better, as they are near the top of the SoCon.

These girls have had a great season and deserve support, and it looks as though the Maniacs will be trying to lead the charge from now on.