Meet SU’s student section, M-9
A good basketball team, especially college squads, seem to get better when they hear the thunderous cheers of their fans.
M-9, Southern University’s screaming student section has been giving SU women’s and men’s teams a boost for years, but now there is an extra oomph to cheering section.
What was once a disconnected group of students followers, M-9 has become a unified, and powerful organization of three student groups: the “We Yell”, “SU Go Team” and the well-known “Blue Boyz.”
The “We Yell” group started with about 30 students from the Office of Student Orientation/Outreach & Leadership Development (S.O.L.D.). We Yell is “designed for students that want to be active, attend games, and support SU win or lose,” said De’Van Stephenson, coordinator of S.O.L.D.
Phillip Cox, a junior Marching Band member and member of “We Yell,” said “We (M-9) are like the ‘sixth man’ on the court playing hard with the team.”
He said SU players have come to him encouraging the group to keep up the work and expressed their appreciation for the group’s support.
“We Yell” full throated show of support is assisted by the “SU Go Team.” They usually sit behind the “We Yell” group.
And, then there are about eight students covered in blue paint sitting in M-9 that will stop at nothing to work their way in the heads of the visiting team.
The so-called “Blue Boyz” are made up of members of the Marching Band who one day got the notion to paint their bodies blue and march into the “Mini dome” to return the love they receive from the school during football season.
The members of the “Blue Boyz” are Ryan Smith, Shawn Coleman, Jeremy Mosely, Curtis Wafer, Aaron Bradley, Phillip Chambers, Haramel Johnson and Michael Crump.
The junior and seniors band members, who are preparing for Super Bowl XLVII pre-game show on Feb. 3 in New Orleans, set aside two hours before games for body painting, painting on letters and heading over to the Mini-Dome to make the crowd 10 times louder.
“When you put the blue paint on it’s like super powers and you just turn up the energy,” said Mosely, a junior from McDonough, Ga.
The guys seem to have fun supporting their team and getting in the heads of the opposing team. They will study the opposing team’s roster for the names of players and coaches. No one is safe! The Boyz chanting and taunting has gotten the attention of many opposing team players. Some players have made the mistake and turning to stare back at the Blue Boyz only to be berated even more by the group.
Smith, a junior from Jackson, Miss., said the Boyz got the idea to paint their bodies with non-toxic craft paint last season on a Friday before a Saturday game. The notion came to him while watching fans at televised football games with painted bodies sitting out in the cold.
The most Boyz ever painted for a game was 15.
“We like the attention,” said Smith. “Students still don’t know who we are until we walk into the gym with the paint. When the paint comes on it’s like we’re another person.”
The “SU Go Team,” another cheering squad created by Evan Cooper, also a band member, suggested the Blue Boyz sit in M-9 after their first game.
“The groups support each other,” said Cox, referring to “We Yell,” “Go Team,” and “Blue Boyz.”
Smith says he would like all students to cheer and get involved with the three groups and make M-9 even better. Also if any female students willing to help paint would be appreciated, said Smith with a smile.
“We want to keep winning to get back on TV and to see Southern represented and get people to know about the school,” said Mosely. “If we get the crowd involved, the team hyped and they keep winning, we (Southern) will go places.”
To participate in the “We Yell” practices follow them on Instagram at Jaginfo and follow the “Blue Boyz” on Instagram at SU_blue_boyz.
M-9 is competing to be named the Naismith Student Section of the Year Award. The SU student section is 313 votes away from 16th place and making it to the next round. Visit www.facebook.com/ilovecollegehoops to vote once a day for M-9.