Students filed into the student section of the Fred Delay Gymnasium Thursday night for the annual Bulldog Madness. When the first students arrived and put on their free T-shirts, the gymnasium was transformed into a sea of white. The white shirts became more noticeable when the lights turned off and the black lights lit up the crowd and cheer squad. More than 300 students attended.
“I thought the night started a little slow, but once people started to get comfortable [the place] was hype,” Jonathan Bowman, sophomore biology major, said. “I don’t think some students knew what cheers we were doing or what was going on, but once the upperclassmen started getting into it, everyone was enjoying the environment.”
Bulldog Madness began when the students were settled and the lights turned off. Buster the Bulldog and the cheer squad, laced with glow-in-the-dark bracelets and necklaces, performed a routine of the evolution of dance followed by the women’s and men’s basketball player introductions.
Fred Fanatics led cheers that got the crowd excited as the women’s basketball team played a brief game. Then, the men had a turn to showcase their abilities. From fast-paced transitions up and down the court to dunks and three-pointers, the students and players were having a great time.
“[The night] exceeded my expectations,” Bowman said. “I thought it was just going to be the cheerleaders doing stunts and a few basketball games, but there was a lot more planning that went into it, and I was way more into the [atmosphere] than I thought I would have been.”
Following the men’s and women’s games, a third and final game between a student-led team and faculty team took place. The students were outmatched early as the faculty team made some early three-pointers and put pressure on the students to overcome a large deficit.
“The student and faculty game was one of my favorite parts because it was cool to see Dr. Jackson and others play well and the basketball team’s reactions,” Bowman said.
The night concluded when Buster and Susie Oliver, head cheer coach, led the students in the “never forget” cheer.