Is UVM becoming more spirited of a university?

p>We’re tucked away in a small city in the Green Mountains that is accented by a vast lake. We’re known for our funky and artistic character, but definitely not for our sports.

But that may be changing now. Looking back just nine years ago in the spring of 2000, UVM’s total enrollment was just over 7,000 students, which was 500 fewer than three decades ago in 1981.

There just wasn’t much expansion going on at the University. But now it is quite the opposite. Just nine years later, we are over 12,000 students and that number is increasing with each semester.

The more students we gain, the larger the immediate Catamount fan base grows. School spirit is increasing not only in the sheer number of the population, but in the passion of the fans.

I can clearly remember the ESPN Bracket Buster game at Patrick Gym last year when the Cats played Buffalo to try to up their chances of making the big dance. There was plenty at stake and the troops of fans rallied to the call.

 Another vivid memory I have is watching the Frozen Four game against bitter rival BU.

The back-and-forth game conjured emotions I had never seen among Catamount fans. 

There was screaming, shouting, cursing and the throwing of empty PBR cans at the TV.
It was then when I realized that, though it had yet to scratch the surface, this school has a lot of pride in their Cats.

But it doesn’t always show.

For the past five years, the men’s soccer team has perennially sat in the top half of the America East under the guidance of head coach Jesse Cormier. But this talented group doesn’t always get the support it deserves.

There is a lack of support not only on the field but also on the hardwood. Women’s basketball, the 2009 America East champions, rarely had a sold-out game despite having two of the most exciting players in the conference.

Now that the population is rising, all it takes is for students to attend the games. I know there is passion — I’ve seen it firsthand. All that must be done now is for students to let that inner fan out.

We aren’t a prime-time football school but I’ve seen how people tailgate at North Beach. I’m quite sure people at this university know how to warm up — or shall I say pregame — for a soccer, basketball or hockey showdown. 

So let it out. Strap up the boots, zip up your jackets, slam your drink and make sure your face paint isn’t running— I’m sure I’ll see you there.