Bench Support: Men’s basketball team sideline playing active role in winning season

By: Noah Hermansen

Cedar Falls has unquestionably the most spirited  basketball bench in Iowa, feeding the players energy through their unique celebrations, and the enthusiasm extends right down to the sidelines of the men’s team’s Bench Mob.

When the Tigers beat Cedar Rapids Prairie 69- 50 on Thursday, Feb. 18 to improve to 17-4, the Tigers Bench Mob delivered its usual assortment of energy, entertainment and theatrics.

Every game they up the energy by adding a new style to encourage the players on the court. “Bench Mob always gives us a spark on the court. We find a lot of energy from them all the time. I’m glad they are on the team,” senior starter Tra’von Fagan said.

The Bench Mob members do a lot of different actions after free throws, three-pointers, dunks and really anything that is hype. For free throws they usually clap twice after a made shot and perform. These include clap clap dab, gentlemen’s clap, check the watch and dab, clap clap Cam Newton, stomp stomp cross legs, and clap clap whip.

For three-point shots, they do bow and arrows for 3’s, baseball home-run, field goal unit, 3’s goggles, “lost my” 3’s goggles and act as if they are playing golf while hitting the 3 they placed on the tee.

Screen Shot 2016-02-25 at 3.37.01 PMWhen a dunk is put down, the team executes mainly the Thor hammer, pretending to hit the ground, and the earthquake where they act as if the dunk was so massive an earthquake had occurred.

“My injury has given me a chance to experience what the bench mob is all about. Not only is it really fun, but they take it really seriously. They actually make up celebrations on the fly, which is impressive. The best feeling is getting a bench warning from the refs. That’s when you know you’re doing your job right,” senior Michael Abbas said.

Senior Logan Mozena and his right hand man senior Nolan Nickerson play intricate roles in making up which celebration they will do, along with others. They decide on the move, and then junior Daniel Martinson spreads the news to the rest of the bench. Some of these theatrics are the whole team, some are individual and some are a small group.

Having the bench mob not only gives the players encouragement and energy, but it helps the players on away games when they don’t have a dominant student section to cheer. “The guys tell us that it feeds them energy, and it’s helpful on away games when  we don’t have our student section, but we still get hype for them,” Mozena said. “We’re the best bench in the state, no doubt.”

Senior Kam Watts agreed. “It’s a fun way to get the team excited and feed off our energy. We don’t play very much clearly, so it’s our way of having fun with it, instead of being like miserable. We don’t play,” Watts said.

It’s no joke the men’s basketball bench gets into their games and feeds energy to the players every game. “It’s cool seeing how the guys on the bench are getting involved with raising the energy of the whole game. All throughout basketball, this has really caught on, so it’s fun trying to see who can be the most creative,” senior Aaron Iehl said.

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