Students board spirit bus to support girls basketball in regional tournament

Alekya Raghavan | Staff Writer

Mason’s got spirit.

The Mason girls basketball team is gearing up to play in the regional semi-finals versus Lakota West at the Trent Arena, but also traveling the 40 minutes to Kettering Fairmont are several members of the Mason student body. These students, with the goal of boosting morale and spreading team spirit, will be riding together on a bus, appropriately dubbed: the Spirit Bus.

Organizing the event is Mason football coach Brian Castner. Castner said that the Spirit Bus is a chance for the football program, which routinely receives unwavering support from the student body, to cheer on the other sports teams.

“I think it’s huge for us as a football program to give back to other sports,” said Castner. “The football games are the most attended games and these players get to play in front of that. It’s important for our players to realize that they need to give back to these young ladies who have worked hard and go to this point, in the regional semi-finals. My hat goes off to Coach Matula and these girls and the work that they put in.”

The students, many of whom are athletes themselves, were permitted to sign up to ride the Spirit Bus through Student Activities and are aiming to boost team morale as the players go into a major game for the season.

Girls basketball coach Rob Matula said that the Spirit Bus is a good first step towards the increased support of all sports at Mason.

“I think it’s wonderful,” said Matula. “I appreciate Coach Castner doing this, but I think that the coaches need to be the driving force behind organizing and getting our student body to go out and support all of our athletes. Boys football and boys basketball gets the most the fans to come, but I think if we can start to generate more interest and have more adults setting the bar for kids to come and support all sports, that it can only be good for everybody.”

Castner said that he hopes that students will go out and support their fellow classmates on their own, taking Mason’s sense of team spirit and togetherness with them.  

“It brings that feeling of student body togetherness,” Castner said. “My goal from the beginning was for the players to do it on their own and not necessarily have Coach Castner push them to go on a bus and do that. I want to make sure that the focus is on the game and these girls and that they feel the energy from the Mason student body.”