Taylor University is built on tradition and community. For the men of the second floor of Samuel Morris Hall, affectionately called Sammy 2, the volleyball cheer section serves both purposes.
It all began years ago when Harry Dantona, a former Sammy 2 resident, had an idea.
“He was interested in a girl on the team,” Harry’s younger brother and current Sammy 2 PA, Sam Dantona recalls. “He wanted to find a way to go to the games and make an impression.”
Naturally, this meant that he convinced other members of the floor to dress up in random costumes and scream at volleyball games like their lives depended on the outcome. From various food items to a wide range of representatives from the animal kingdom, there is seemingly no rhyme or reason for most of the wacky getups.
Harry was rewarded for his efforts; he was promptly asked to go on the volleyball pick-a-date after holding a sign asking for just that at every game.
Some might call it a love story for the ages. Others simply remember it as the birth of a new tradition. Long past its founder’s graduation, this tradition has continued to survive and thrive, taking on new significance along the way.
“It’s a great time,” junior Cal Anderson said. “We get to go all out and be loud. More importantly though, it gives us a chance to support a group outside of our own floor.”
Anderson, the leader of the fan section, has been around to witness some of the most notable occurrences from the rowdy men of Sammy 2.
“There are so many good memories,” Anderson said. “Between the ridiculous chants and the costumes, it’s always fun. After a huge kill, we always get hype and drop the hammer.”
In the past few years, the men of Sammy 2 have developed a good relationship with Coach Erin Luthy and her team, leading to an annual scrimmage between the Trojan volleyball team and the men of Sammy 2, along with other small events.
“Coach Luthy has been so kind and cool,” Anderson said. “She has made food for the floor multiple times and really shown us her appreciation. It’s been great to have her as a friend of the floor.”
The memories and recognition extend beyond those who partake in the fan section — both Coach Luthy and her team have taken notice and appreciate the support.
“When we have a good home crowd, we definitely play our best,” senior Grace Isaacs said. “We can definitely tell when Sammy 2 is being rowdy.
Although she is usually locked in on the game, Isaacs remembers some humorous antics from the fan section during her time with Taylor volleyball.
“When we’re playing against Spring Arbor a few years ago, they kept yelling at their libero and asking her why she was wearing yellow.” Isaacs said. “The libero was Stephaney, and she plays for us now!”
With one home game left in the season, Taylor volleyball would love support from all of campus, including their loudest fans. Be sure to come out to Odle Arena on Tuesday, Oct. 20 at 7:00.