UTAH TECH UNIVERSITY'S STUDENT NEWS SOURCE | September 26, 2022

Spirited crowd makes for more exciting sporting events

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Signs are sweeping the student section of Dixie State University.

Students introduced a new form of support for the Dixie State basketball team a few weeks ago. Students have made distracting signs for the opposing team out of cardboard, laminated printouts and wooden rulers. The signs are held in the student section behind the basket, so when the opposing players try to make a free-throw, or a basket in general, they will see these signs.

The X-Club at Dixie State has helped supply some of the signs.

“We originally had the idea, but some other guys in the student section really brought the heat,” said X-Club member Derek Owen, a senior biology major from St. George.

Owen said other students were the first ones to print off the signs, and the X-Club just fed off of the other students’ ideas. Now the X-Club’s signs are all across the student section.

“As a former player, I think if there is a lot of movement; if there is a lot of sound, a lot of pump from the crowd, it’s nearly impossible to make free throws,” Owen said.

Owen said he had seen crowds from big high schools and colleges able to pull off the signs. He said it brings intensity to the game, but it also lets them have fun.  

“The signs are huge distractions,” said Chase Merryweather, a sophomore business major from Payson. “We put funny faces on them, and, since we’re right behind the basket, it draws their attention to the huge faces.”

Some of these signs include Pee-wee Herman, Miley Cyrus  and LeBron James. There is also a sign that, when the students spin it, looks like an optical illusion.

“We mostly try to make them miss free throws and just shots overall,” Merryweather said. “Plus our enthusiasm pumps energy into our team and helps us be a second half team.”

The opposing teams switch to the basket by the student section during the second half, which gives the students a prime opportunity to cause a distraction.