Springfield, Ohio - Athletic teams representing Wittenberg University have long enjoyed tremendous success on the field of play, showing plenty of "pep" in vanquishing more foes than any other school in Division III history on the football field and basketball court. Now there will be a little more "pep" in the stands as well.
A growing number of students have come together to form a Pep Squad, a potentially boisterous student cheering section that organizers hope to have at all university sporting events in the future. In addition, a new Pep Band, under the direction of Cedarville High School Music Director Ken Hoffman, has been unveiled as well.
Director of Athletics and Recreation Garnett Purnell, who is in his second year at Wittenberg, sees this as the beginning of a "resurgence" of interest in Tiger teams.
"The Pep Band is another way for us to encourage school spirit and enthusiasm for our teams," Purnell said. "That, along with the Pep Squad, is hopefully the first step toward energizing our students and creating an even more positive atmosphere at home games."
Purnell said students have been pushing for special seating sections for home football and basketball games from which they can watch games, cheer and socialize with friends. That is where the Pep Squad hopes to draw support, energizing the students who regularly attend games and hopefully attracting new fans.
The Pep Band is made up of about 15 Wittenberg University students and four Cedarville High School students. It will perform at selected home basketball games in the future, while the Pep Squad will be making appearances at as many home athletic contests as possible, regardless of the sport.