Team Spirit 101: The Baylor Bear Pit

The Oakland Raiders have the Black Hole. Duke University has the Cameron Crazies. Meet the Baylor Bear Pit, Baylor University's newest school spirit group.

Courtside seating. Up close and personal with coaches and players. Free pizza. What more could a college student ask for when attending a Baylor men's basketball game? Thanks to the hardwork of some dedicated students, that's exactly what many Baylor students are getting the chance to experience.

The Bear Pit is arguably Baylor University's fastest growing student organization. You can spot them behind the goals at every men's basketball game at the Ferrell Center. Clad in gold and black jerseys, there is no mistaking that the Bear Pit is alive and well.

Luke Baker, President of the organization explains that the idea finally came to fruition at the beginning of December. After meeting with students, faculty, and advisors, the Bear Pit became an official organization and is open to any student who wants to be involved.

"Our purpose is to increase and promote school spirit at Baylor men's basketball games, thereby creating an atmosphere of excitement for both players and fans to enjoy," says Baker.

But the planning was no easy task. Students studied spirit groups across the nation, did their research, and developed a plan and design suitable for a school such as Baylor. So what exactly is the big deal about this group?

"We have about 500 members, and we are really focusing on men's basketball. They need the support."

The Baylor men's basketball team was not allowed to play any non-conference games this season, and the students who were the mind behind the Bear Pit decided to stand behind the Bears.

In just 6 home games, Baker can recall countless stories already from this season.

"Against Missouri, Kevin Rogers had a great dunk, then Jerrells, and then Henry Dugat. The fans were just going crazy."

"Also, we were making a lot of noise during the Kansas State game. During one of the inbounds plays, one of the Kansas State players chalked up his hands and then threw the chalk towards us. The crowd really gave him a hard time after that," Baker recalls.

Baker is quick to give others the praise for such a fine organization. Reid Cox serves as the Bear Pit's advisor and according to Baker "has been a big help." Additionally, Baker mentions Don Shallcross, Daniel Voigt, Jon Schroeder, Luke Prettol, and Travis Plummer as people who have had a major impact on getting the organization running smoothly. Baker also commends Ben Carroll and Andrew Franklin for their big roles in recruiting students to the Bear Pit.

Baker adds, "People say that we may not be creative, but we have had only 6 games to figure things out. We are getting more experience, and everyone is cheering and pulling together."

So what does the future hold according to Baker?

"We are going to see if we can get courtside seating, create more excitement, and continue to get a good group that can do things together. This was a good year, but expect bigger things to come."

4 true freshman are seeing plenty of action for Coach Scott Drew's Baylor Bears, and there is no doubt that as they become stronger, bigger, and more experienced, the Bear Pit will be right there next to them, cheering their every step.

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