Colleen Slattery, Sports Editor
Returning students may have heard about the Blue Crew this past semester, but to the freshmen milling about campus, heads still spinning over the intense amounts of reading they are expected to finish, it may be something completely foreign. And to be fair, at a school like the University of Dallas, where the epics of Homer and Virgil are often seen as far more important than any epic match or race that the UD Crusaders may have just completed, an organization set up to inspire school spirit through athletics may have a hard go at it.
Anthony Campise, senior and founder of the Blue Crew, saw a problem with this. So last spring, he set out to inspire a little bit of school spirit here at UD and show the students that there is also glory found in the world of sports.
The Blue Crew is an organization that seeks to increase school spirit at UD through fostering awareness of the Division III athletics that many students compete in. The club works with coaches to sponsor two or three home matches or games per sport. This might entail giving out free T-shirts at a basketball game or having free food and a tailgate party before a soccer match. In general, it is an attempt to generate interest and pride in the athletics at UD, and Campise sees the group as filling a void in school spirit here at UD.
Lackluster attendance at home games and matches for the Crusaders is a common problem, and one that really prompted Campise to make a change.
“I found it frustrating when I went to athletic events on campus and saw more fans from the visiting team than our own. Our own fans didn’t even have enough seats at some points!” he said. “This inspired me to improve the situation. I went to a very sports-oriented high school, one that was able to balance both rigorous academic and athletic endeavors. I wanted to bring [that] type of excitement and unifying school spirit here to UD,” he said.
The Blue Crew is a way in which the students can get together and feel some of that excitement for their team and be proud of what the student-athletes on the team have done, as well as just have some good old-fashioned fun during the events.
Campise is no stranger to the demanding world of sports competition, and he understands the value of sports, having competed in various sports from a young age.
“The discipline that comes with sports competition teaches you how to strive to achieve a goal, and this lesson can be applied to both school and future work situations,” he said. “Also, just being physically fit is an important part of a balanced life. You can’t just work out your mind. Lastly, competing in sports teaches you [how] to interact with people, and that is something that is essential to life, especially in the work environment.”
These important lessons that athletics teach are additional reasons why Campise decided to create the Blue Crew. Although he did not choose to become a student-athlete here at UD, the lessons he learned from athletics throughout his life have been profound enough that he chose to support the athletic endeavors of student-athletes here at UD. Anthony Campise is working to create a culture of school spirit at UD — are you?