Cahill Cra-Zzzzzzzzzz’s?

School spirit organization works to strengthen student presence


Photo by Bernadette Mercurio

It’s a Friday night in September at Robert Morris University—the varsity football team is on the field, cheerleaders are on the sideline and fans and parents are standing on their feet as the teams warm up. Then, a river of bright colors flows past the bleachers. The theme for the night is tie-dye. Hundreds of students run to their section, excited to do everything they can to distract the opposing team while supporting theirs. Meanwhile, a soccer match is going on at the exact same time, with no one other than the players’ parents to cheer on the team. Who is behind all this madness, or in some cases, lack thereof? The Cahill Crazies.
The Cahill Crazies are a student organization that leads the cheers at major athletic events, as well as coordinates the themes and spreads the word about game locations to other students. Their presence is visible at events like football and basketball games, but the club is working on spreading its influence.
“[The Cahill Crazies] work to ignite the community which is a big part of our S.T.R.I.V.E. goal,” said Ms. Maggie Wiener, the moderator of the club. “Inclusivity is something we try to keep fluid throughout athletics and that is something we also try to bring when it comes to support.”
Student support is imperative to the success of a team. They bring the energy, they raise the intensity, and they can be the difference between a win or a loss.
“Culture is contagious,” said Ms. Wiener. “When you see what our student section looks like, it’s electric, whether it’s volleyball, or football, or basketball, you name it.”
Some students think that even in traditionally packed games with many students in attendance, like football and basketball, there is a lack of school spirit.
“Student support could be better,” said junior Michael Nix who plays varsity basketball, football, and baseball. “While games like homecoming are always packed and there’s a lot of energy from the crowd, sometimes there is a huge student section and we can’t even hear them. As the season went on, and it got colder, I definitely noticed people leaving in the fourth quarter. We would kick off with hundreds of fans in the student section, and end the game with a few if we’re lucky.”
While football and basketball are some of the more popular sports in terms of student attendance, teams can also catch the attention of the Cahill Crazies through unprecedented success like the girls’ volleyball team did this season.
“As we got further into the playoffs we had tons of fans at our games,” said junior Louisa Battin who plays bowling, water polo, and was a part of the historic girls’ volleyball team that made a super sectional playoff run. “Them coming out to the games, even if it was an hour away meant a lot to us. It made us even more proud and excited to be a part of the team. When you’re on the court it’s almost impossible not to take that energy from the fans and want to play ten times harder.”
The benefit Cahill Crazies provides student athletes motivates the organization to offer support to more teams and even outside athletics
“But not just in athletics,” said Ms. Wiener. “We’re trying to branch out our overall inclusivity and involvement by trying to pack the places at opening night for the fall play and spring musical taking the energy that the Crazies have and spreading it further than just athletics.”
However, some athletes feel that not having a crowd full of fans isn’t the worst thing in the world.
“I think it makes us closer,” said Battin. “The girls on the volleyball team were as close as they get, but there’s a sense at the bowling and water polo matches that we have to cheer each other on. We have to be proud of one another.”
Athletic events are a big part of most high school students’ lives, whether they are playing in them, supporting them or managing the teams. While the Cahill Crazies are the ones who organize them, it is up to the students to show up, and the Crazies are beginning to make big strides in making this support felt more and more throughout the St. Viator community.