Athletic department adds the "Stone Zone"
Bethel College is home to one of the most electric game day experiences in the conference, but there is always room for improvement. Because of this, the Bethel College Student Athlete Leadership Team (SALT) has been working hard behind-the-scenes to put the Thresher student section on the map.
“We’re always looking for ways to make the game day experience better. We want our student section to be more dedicated, more involved, and all around better,” said Drannon Lenox senior from Norman, Oklahoma.
In an effort to achieve this, a game day experience subcommittee has been formed, consisting of six students and two coaches.
“While Tori Riddick heads the subcommittee, Isaiah Bartel, Miki Harkens, Luke Schmidt, Hannah Harris, and Kyle Belvin are our student representatives. Coach Artaz and Coach Gogus represent the staff,” Lenox said.
A number of ideas have been presented in these meetings. Roping off the student section in both Thresher Stadium and Thresher Gymnasium, designing official t-shirts, and creating new, simple traditions that students and fans can participate in during games are just a few of these ideas.
While several of these changes have yet to take shape, the student section has been renamed the “Stone Zone'' and, if you’ve attended a football game at Thresher Stadium, the song “Shout” is played three minutes before the second half. This tradition piggybacks off of the University of Oregon’s, encouraging spectators to get on their feet and dance.
Building on these traditions, SALT hopes to purchase a banner representing the “Stone Zone” and to be able to provide the cheer and dance teams with more Thresher goodies to throw out during the games.
“All of these game day additions will be purchased by the Athletic Department and Booster Club. SALT simply provides them with the ideas,” Lenox said.
According to Lenox, this “twelfth man” mentality comes as a direct result of the improvement across Bethel College Athletics over the last four years.
“It helps that our sports teams are getting better, so our student section should grow with them, giving them a high level of support. Beyond that, this can only mean good things for current students and for recruitment,” Lenox said.
Perhaps one of the most exciting and highly sought after positions is the leader of the “Stone Zone,” a position dedicated to Thresher pride.
“[SALT is] in the process of choosing certain people to attend every game, connect with the themes and serve as designated hype people, thus continuing the idea of students engaging students,” Lenox said.
While these new traditions continue to unfold throughout the school year, Lenox reminds us that Thresher Nation isn’t in need of an overhaul, just a facelift.
“Overall there is more involvement across all sports, but there is always potential for it to grow and get better. It’s in our hands to make this thing what we want it to be, and we need your help,” Lenox said.
If you have a suggestion or questions for the subcommittee, SALT representatives welcome student input and feedback via email or upon seeing them on campus.