The singing of the University of South Dakota fight song and rousing sight of Charlie Coyote Aug. 30 were staples at the first pep rally of the year in preparation for the football home opener against UC Davis.
Held in the grass next to the Muenster University Center by the “Legacy” coyote statue, the rally began with songs from USD’s Sound Bytes. Speeches followed from Jarrad Emery, president of the reinvigorated Coyote Crazies, players on the football team including quarterback Josh Vander Maten and head coach of the football team Joe Glenn.
Glenn said he vowed that if students came out to support the football team at the six home games this year that the football players would in turn be sure to support other campus groups.
“We all have to support each other,” Glenn said.
The pep rally was organized by the Coyote Crazies and Student Services as a way to get more students involved in university events. Attendance at the pep rally was around 150 students.
Athletic Director David Herbster said he was optimistic in increasing fan interaction, though attendance could have been higher for the first rally of the season.
“I would have loved to see 2,000 more students out there, but it’s a good start,” Herbster said.
Student Government Association Vice President Clay Hoffman said he was happy with the outcome of the pep rally.
“I think it went well. It has that D-I aurora to it,” Hoffman said.
Not all students agreed with Hoffman though, as first-year Shawna Murray said she was disappointed with the turnout.
“It seemed kind of small,” she said.
According to Hoffman, more pep rallies and events are in store as the athletic season continues. The next home football game to plan for: a Dakota Days match up against Missouri State Oct. 5.