The Pride is a group of students that leads cheers at football and basketball games, amps up support for away games and coordinates cheers.
Junior Joey Phelps cites last year’s pride leader, Trejon Shelton ’17, as the person who recruited him to The Pride.
Phelps said, “I became a part of The Pride leadership last year, and then this year I decided to continue on with it in hopes of just making it better.”
Senior Pride leader Matthew Scarsi said he joined The Pride because his brother was involved on the football team.
“I first got involved in The Pride in junior year because that was the first year I wasn’t playing football, and all my friends were on the football team, and I was still going to go to all the games anyways, so I just wanted to go out and support,” Scarsi said.
Moderator Matthew Baham has been in charge of this club for seven years. “I began moderating The Pride leadership in 2010. I stopped coaching at that time but wanted to continue to be involved in the sports programs here at Loyola,” he said
The Pride prepares for games one day prior. Phelps said, “We have a meeting on Thursdays to go over what we’re going do for the game on Friday.”
Scarsi and Phelps said that Pride members are required to arrive at the field about 30 minutes before the start of the game.
Scarsi said, “We head to the games at like 6:25 to 6:30 and get out on the field at 6:30 because we have to set up the banner for the players to run through.”
Baham said that The Pride leaders have done a great job in fulfilling their responsibilities such as dressing the mascot.
Baham said, “ Getting the mascot really does take two people because it’s difficult to get ready by yourself. It’s also really hard to see out of the costume so someone has to be his eyes.”
Being the school mascot is a difficult task. Scarsi said, “Usually, no one wants to be the mascot because it’s hot and sweaty, so we always have to pick someone.”
Post-game cleaning involves collecting flags and the mascot. Pride members also clean the playing surface.
“[The Pride ] is all about having fun, being the leaders of the football field while off it and making it as loud as possible,” said Phelps.
Scarsi said that the The Pride’s goal is to amp up support for all teams.
Scarsi said, “We realize that we’re a commuter school, so it’s hard to get people to the games, but I feel like the players of all our teams deserve to be supported.”
Pride members encourage Loyola students by passing out pamphlets and advertising attendance at rivalry games.
Scarsi said, “Some games we’ll know that we’ll get a lot of people, but it’s harder for the games that we don’t. We know for Harvard-Westlake and Saint Francis, we’ll get a ton of people, but for a game against Alemany, it’s not that easy.”
The Pride aims to get the students to be more enthusiastic during the games and take advantage of the home field advantage.
“The main goal of The Pride is to get the student section loud and let them become part of the game. Home court advantage begins with the student section, so the louder The Pride can get the students, the better for the teams,” Baham said.
Pride members are motivated by school sports to lead students. Scarsi said, “I just love watching the football team, and we’re doing pretty good this year, so it’s really interesting.”
Baham said that he does not want to miss the next championship Loyola wins because of his passion for sports.
“I love sports – The competition, determination andhe will to win is impressive to watch,” Baham said.
After football season, The Pride looks forward to the basketball season. Phelps said, “For basketball we’re definitely going to try to bring back the trap-house and we’re going to have themes every home game. It’s going to be the best year ever.”
The Pride looks to the future and hopes for more student involvement. “I would like to expand on the Pride Leadership by getting more students involved in it,” Baham said.