Since 1987, the Pride has been bringing school spirit to the Loyola community. Pride members attend both home and away games for various sports throughout the school year.
Current adviser for the Pride and math teacher Mr. Matthew Baham has been actively involved with the Pride for six years. He said, “What I like about being involved with the Pride is that I get to go to all the sports games, and I really get to see the community between the Pride leaders and the crowd and players.”
The Pride’s goal is to provide a sense of community for the whole school, not just athletes, according to senior Pride leader David Bengford. On his favorite part about being an active member of the Pride, Bengford said, “Being a member of the Pride allows me the opportunity to go out and support my fellow athletes. We are a brotherhood, and the Pride’s goal is to bring everyone together in order to establish an atmosphere of electrifying school spirit.”
Mr. Baham added that he has seen various aspects of change in the Loyola Pride throughout his career. He said, “When I first started, they didn’t have much motivation, but as the years have progressed I’ve been seeing that they want to get loud, they want the crowd to get loud, and they really want to be a part of the game. They want to be the sixth man for basketball and the twelfth man for football; they really want to be a part of the sport.”
In the past, the Loyola Pride wasn’t as large or as popular as it is now; at one point the Pride consisted of only four young men. The Loyola Pride was mainly centered around their involvement with only football and basketball, and most of the members in the Pride were on those respective teams.
One past Pride member and current Advancement Associate, Melvin Roberts ’01, said, “We mostly did football season. We worked directly with the cheerleaders and went to camp over the summer to learn stunts and even routines. We practiced with the cheerleaders twice a week on Tuesday and Thursday.” Roberts continues to be an active member of the Loyola community and works in the Advancement department.
Additionally, the Pride used to perform during halftime at sporting events. Roberts commented, “We used to do full out hip hop style dance routines at halftime of football games! We also did push ups every time the Cubs would score –one pushup per point and we would do them in unison. The cheerleaders would stand behind us and count them out with the crowd!”
About the Pride’s experiences during the games, Roberts said, “We were always about positive spirit and support for the Cubs! [There was] no negative talk or heckling of the other team or of the fans from the opposing school.”
Throughout its history, The Pride has provided support for Loyola athletic events. The Pride, which meets every Wednesday in Mr. Baham’s room, L104, is a large commitment and takes a lot of extra time, according to Bengford. Currently, there are thirty active members in The Pride; however, they are always welcoming of new members.