The “Dawg Pound” is a group of RFH students who gather at every RFH sporting event to cheer on bulldawg student athletes to victory.
“It’s basically a group in which we come together as one for one common good, and that is tcheer on our teams both physically, mentally, and verbally with different chants” junior Glen Wise said when asked how to describe the Dawg Pound. Wise and fellow junior Jack Wise are the co-leaders of the Dawg Pound, a prestigious position they have held for two years. They feel as if continuity amongst students is one of the many keys to the success of the student section. That continuity leads to a stronger showing of fan support each season.
“Compared to last year, this year we have a more core group of upperclassmen who enjoy cheering and making a fool out of themselves at the games,” Jack said when comparing this year’s Dawg Pound to its predecessor. However, there are many more elements that go into the fan section that make it so successful.
One important factor in the Dawg Pound is gameday attire. Some students, like Jack, enjoy putting in maximum effort for the Dawg Pound, sporting as ridiculous an outfit as possible.
“I like to go through my closet and find the most absurd thing I can get and I like to put it on,” said Jack on the topic of Dawg Pound attire. Glen, on the other hand, likes to “dig in the fro-fo-sho” and sport a variety of different afro wigs to the games. While extreme outfits are encouraged, they are not necessarily required, as the casual fan can stick to wearing the designated Dawg Pound color.
The “Color-Out” is one of the Dawg Pound’s longest traditions. Before each game, the crowd designates what color should be worn by each member of the student section. These colors include black-outs, white-outs, purple-outs, and even pink-outs to support breast cancer awareness. On top of this, fancy-outs, where students are asked to wear formal attire, are implemented each year for the annual homecoming game. Out of all these color themes, Herrmann feels as if the black-out is the most effective way for the crowd to impact the game.
“It looks like more of a unit,” Herrmann said, “We look more solid.”
While gameday attire is a major aspect of the Dawg Pound, one cannot overlook the impact of chanting. Several deafening chants can be heard over the course of a football or basketball game, such as a classic “Defense *clap clap*” chant, or maybe an inspirational “I Believe that we will win” chant. These chants inspire and unify both the crowd and the team. However, these chants also present a great challenge for the Dawg Pound.
Getting freshmen to cheer is one of the biggest obstacles the Dawg Pound faces. While Jack and Glen understand that some freshmen might feel embarrassed to get into the games, they want to stress to them that they respect those who cheer at the games. In order to combat the lack of freshmen involvement, one or two leaders might go up to the top of the stands into the freshman section and urge them to yell as loud as they can. This makes them feel less embarrassed and more comfortable, as well as strengthen the bond between upper and underclassmen. When the initial adrenaline of the screaming wears off, Wise goes up with his cowbell and fires up the crowd.
The Dawg Pound has united the RFH student body and led to many key RFH athletic victories. It started several years ago, and it is a tradition that is still kept today.