Spirit Cup and Rebel Road Trip

The Cardinal Club, the reorganized School Spirit Committee, is moving through a successful revival in its first year. Now the organization is sponsoring a "Spirit Cup."

The Spirit Cup includes a series of games in several sports to encourage student involvement, and the winner is determined by participation.

At last Sunday's Ole Miss soccer game, there was a large group of students who were there and supportive of the team.

"We wanted to create something to get more students involved in every sport," said Peyton Beard, a senior from Tupelo and the president of the Cardinal Club. "We believe this is a good way to do that."

Clearly the main goal is to encourage more support for Ole Miss athletics and the student-athletes, and Beard said the Spirit Cup will be able to do that provided students participate.

"We have two Spirit Cups – one Greek and one campus-wide," Beard said. "We hope this will become an annual event and a way to support Ole Miss athletics."

The Cardinal Club, so named because it is one of Ole Miss' colors, began on the Ole Miss campus in 1927 but was dormant from 1969 until this summer.

The Club has selected 10 sports events from the soccer game last Sunday to other games throughout the school year like baseball, women's basketball, softball, tennis, etc. Points are awarded for participation by the groups attending. The Cups will be awarded in the spring.

A donation will be made to the philanthropy of the winning groups' choice, the groups will receive a trophy, and a plaque will be placed in the Student Union with the winning groups' names.

The Cardinal Club has already had a rousing start this school year, although a damp one. The pep rally before the first home football game on the Thursday night prior to the Southeastern Louisiana contest was held despite rainy conditions. The big screen game-watch in the Grove for the South Carolina football game had to be cancelled because of wet grounds and the threat of more rain.

The Cardinal Club's sponsored bus trip to Auburn for the football game to support the Rebels is this weekend. The group leaves Friday, with an overnight stay in Montgomery, Ala., and returns to Oxford after the game on Saturday.

"We've been planning this for a while and we're looking forward to it," Beard said of the Rebel Road Trip. "We want this to be an annual event. We hope to also make a bus trip to a basketball game next semester."

The group's advisor, Sovent Taylor, said things are going well for the Cardinal Club.

"We've gotten a lot of support from the athletics department and the Student Programming Board (in the Department of Campus Programming)," he said. "We had more than 800 freshmen involved in the Rebel Run before the Southeastern Louisiana game. It was the largest participation we've ever had for that."

So the Cardinal Club moves forward, and Ole Miss students are moving forward with it. The Spirit Cup is an important part of that effort.

"We want students to be involved in it," Taylor said. "A lot of them have never been to a tennis match or a women's basketball game or a soccer game or some of the other sports. We know if they go, a lot of them will enjoy it. And they might just say they're going back again. That's what we want to happen."

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