Biggest game of the Year

02.28.2011

If you go to UD, you have been waiting and anticipating for the biggest game of the year. This game is when the much despised Xavier Musketeers come to the arena to take on our Dayton Flyers. Every year, the game is just as exciting if not better. If you have never been to a big game at the Dayton arena, let me paint a picture of what it looks like when Xavier comes to town. Driving to the game, you see students wearing their Red Scare (student section) shirts, painted in Red and Blue, dressed up in some crazy costumes. You arrive at the arena, seeing cars lining up to park. From my view, an hour before the game starts, I walk onto the court to see both teams warming up. All of the seats are empty at the moment, at least without people sitting in them. On every seat, all 13,500 seats, there is a white t-shirt with a red/white towel for each fan to put on as they cheer on the flyers. This alone is a memorable sight. Game time gets closer, and Xavier comes out to warm-up. A roar of booing from the Dayton fans erupts as cheers roar when our team hits the floor before going back into the locker room. For myself, along with the rest of the cheerleaders, it's time to go to the tunnel to run the flags out leading the team out onto the floor. The music starts to play, and I pick up the HUGE UD flag. I start to run down the court to see/hear/feel/embrace 13,500 screaming fans all in white screaming, cheering, clapping for our team. The experience is so crazy, it puts chills down my spine. It is truly an amazing experience, one you must have if you have the oppurtunity.

However, the feeling is bittersweet for me. I have been doing this for 4 years, and I have nearly reached the end of my cheerleading career. Today was my last Xavier game as a Dayton Flyer cheerleader. Never again will I run the big flag out to the Flyer Faithful. But hey, I'm not here to get depressed, let's just talk about the game. During the first half, I could safely say, hopes of us even competing with Xavier were not looking good. We were turning over the ball, getting into foul trouble, and just not shooting good. At one point we were down by 12 points in the first half. The second half comes, and we pick up our game. Thanks to Xaviers cold shooting spell, we cut the lead down to five points numerous times. With less than 3 minutes to go, Chris Johnson (forward for UD), gets fouled with a chance to tie the game with two free throws. The first one goes in, the crowd cheers. I look at everyone and the once glummy faces had new life. The second free throw is shot.......and he makes it. The crowd erupts and you can't even hear yourself think or talk. As I have said, this is an exprience like no other. The game stays close, but unfortunately, we end up losing.

That was the last Xavier game I will cheer at. Am I disappointed with it? No, the fans and the atmosphere is what makes me love Dayton basketball. Do I wish we would have won? Absolutely. There is not one cell in my body that likes Xavier, and to see them win makes me sick, but hey what can you do about it.

Now, I have but one more home game on Wednesday. It is Senior Night. All the senior basketball players as well as senior cheerleaders including myself will be announced. I wonder how I will react? I wonder what it is going to feel like knowing that this is the end of something amazing? With all of the hours of work, practice, and dedication I have given to cheerleading for the past four years and to see it end...is this fair? The answer is yes. Though it may be hard, all good things come to an end. I am extremely thankful for the experience I have had with cheerleading and the friends and family I have made with my teammates. Well, it is time to get some homework done and to get my mind off of "Senior night". Be safe and make good choices!