By FRANCESCA MAYR ’16
Students bounced in from the cold night to the Kuch Center, drawn by the beat of the deejay-spun dance music and the opportunity to be shamelessly silly, scream at the top of their lungs and celebrate the accomplishments and dedication of Arcadia University athletic teams. Knight Madness offers students a welcome reprieve at this busy time of year. For two hours on Nov. 2, the trials of daily life faded to the background in favor of scarlet and grey face paint and chants of “AU! AU!” in a heartening display of school pride and unity.
The flavor of the evening proved to be distinctly Arcadian as attendees waved foam swords instead of foam fingers, echoing a knightly “huzzah!” Hand-crafted posters reflected the close community on which the University prides itself. President Carl (Tobey) Oxholm III, with a shtick that’s tried and true, ensured all teams received their well-deserved accolades, piling each team’s shirt and removing them as each was introduced and applauded.
“I really enjoyed the energy of the crowd,” said Nicole Lobaton ’16, a member of the women’s soccer team. “And also watching everyone make fools of themselves,” she added with a chuckle. “It was a really fun night.”
Throughout the evening, athletic teams sparred in friendly competition to prove their knighthood. One team challenge asked student-athletes to craft aluminum foil suits of armor and sport the resulting costume. Another game tested throwing accuracy, as participants were asked to throw toilet paper rolls through their legs and into a hula-hoop placed several feet away.
Interspersed performances broke up the sporting events with style. Clad in jazzy suspenders and shimmering ensembles, Puro Ritmo, Arcadia’s Latin dance group, captivated viewers with an artful and energetic ballroom dance, and impressed the crowd with their effortless lifts and energetic attitudes. With high-flying herkies and characteristic pep, the cheerleaders revved up the audience, and the Knight Club dance team charmed with a spirited and vivacious hip-hop number.
To welcome the basketball teams, cheerleaders formed an arch of honor and offered their hands for high-fives as each player navigated the walk. This pathway signified the journey players endure in order to become successful student-athletes. Upon reaching the end, each struck a pose, ready for the challenges ahead.
This annual winter sports season kickoff reminded attendees that, in a slick world of irony and apathy, genuine fun, enthusiasm, and kinship still exist. The pep rally highlighted the accomplishments of deserving individuals, adding a note of unhindered fun, and welcoming all into the fold of Arcadia’s community.
“I think I most enjoyed watching people participating in some of the activities and realizing that I recognized them,” said tennis player Jessica Unger ’16. “It showed me how involved so many people are here, and that I am becoming a part of the Arcadia community too.”
Winter Sports Schedules
Check out the Athletics website (athletics.arcadia.edu) for schedules and season previews.