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The Blue & Gray Press | August 17, 2019

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Staff Editorial: School spirit springs up

Wednesday, March 20, marked the first day of spring, and the currently thawing University of Mary Washington campus is aching for a heightened sense of school spirit.

The uncooperative winter weather is on its way out, leaving students with one fewer excuse to stay inside their dorms and play video games. As the late-March warmth swells over Fredericksburg, the students will finally wake from their half-semester of hibernation.

There is a tangible energy in the air during the final eight weeks of the spring semester. The post-Spring Break buzz begins to build, as students can start to taste the summer vacation on the horizon.

The UMW athletic organizations benefit most from this sudden surge of electricity, which peaks in early spring. The spring sports see a higher average attendance at home events, and the expanded audience serves as excellent motivation for the athletes.

It’s not always convenient to be an Eagles fan. UMW doesn’t have a football team, and tailgating in the parking lot of the Battleground Athletic Complex isn’t a weekly occurrence. Perhaps the Thursday afternoon softball double-header looked a lot more appealing before your French teacher assigned 100 pages of reading from “La Planète des singes.”

Still, UMW athletics has plenty to offer, as many of the teams have been wildly successful as of late. The field hockey team made it to the NCAA Final Four last fall, competing in Geneva, N.Y., and the swimming teams sent a school-record 10 athletes to race in the NCAA championships in Shenandoah, Texas just this week.

There are currently six different spring sports with a .500 winning percentage or better, and critical conference play is starting to heat up. There’s no better time to support UMW’s thriving athletic programs.

Ditch the Virginia Tech and University of Virginia hoodies and throw on a UMW T-shirt and ball cap. It’s a great day to be an Eagle.