GC is one of the biggest Division 2 schools in Georgia, but as a liberal arts college, the diverse student population emerges through the variety of extracurriculars the university offers.
The array of opportunities for students to participate in, however, can lead to low attendance at GC sporting events.
Some student athletes come from larger division high schools with almost as many students as GC. In high school, the fan base can be higher, including parents, friends and the local supporters who attend every game.
“It’s different not seeing everyone’s family at the games,” said softball player Amber Coy. “But you play for your teammates, not the fans.”
Although GC does not consistently reach record attendance nights, the athletes and the coaches don’t focus on it.
Instead, they zone in on their opponents and preparing for every game no matter the turn out.
“Whether it’s a big crowd or a small crowd, we don’t focus on that,” said softball coach Jamie Grodecki. “The girls put the work in, and we prepare to do what we do.”
For GC’s baseball teams, the new modified fence has assisted the home field advantage environment for the players. Fans are able to sit behind the fence and in the bleachers behind home plate, producing a smothering effect from all angles while being able to see all the action.
“It gives us a definite home field advantage,” said baseball coach Jason Eller. “We were 21-3 at home last year, and this is going to help.”
The baseball teams’ four College World Series Championships and historic program draws in local supporters and alumni, but they intend to continue attendance growth and support.
“It’s a different atmosphere at GC than when I was at Pope High School,” said basketball player Garrick Debowles. “It varies, but we just go out there and play ball.”
The basketball team gives a lot of credit to the cheerleaders who enhance the energy throughout the game.
“Having the cheerleaders helps keep the atmosphere loud,” DeBowles said. “But we’d love to see more students at the games.”
Increasing the fan bases for GC athletics is difficult with the countless programs and clubs to compete for students’ time and attention. However, it’s something that could unify the student body. There’s nothing like getting rowdy and loud cheering on the Bobcats to seal the victory.