Basketball season has finally arrived and many students, including Raymond Borgone (MSB ’08), couldn’t be more excited.
As president of Hoya Blue, Borgone – a former HOYA sports columnist – will become a familiar face at games this season, organizing the crowd to cheer on campus’ favorite team. In an interview with THE HOYA, he discusses his role with the organization and the evolution of school spirit in recent years.
How did you get involved with Hoya Blue?
In my freshman year, I got really interested in basketball. On the Internet, there was this message board where I would talk to other Georgetown fans and I met some other Georgetown students. At the end of my freshman year, Hoya Blue became an official student organization. Those friends and I ended up being voted into being the new board and it kind of snowballed from there.
What was your original role in Hoya Blue?
I was the events officer my sophomore year; I was the treasurer junior year.
How would you describe the club’s mission?
In general, when people ask what Hoya Blue is, we tell them it is the sport supporter and school spirit organization. In general we try to do everything we can to support the sports teams. We want to increase people’s appreciation of Georgetown, and make them more proud of their school.
Now that the basketball season has just begun, what is Hoya Blue planning for this season. Anything different from previous seasons?
It is a little bit of a different thing this year because there are so many people. There are so many students who bought tickets. A lot of what we do is to make the in-game atmosphere the best. Now, with so many students and the whole bracelet system in place, coordinating is a little more difficult, and so we are working on that, and making the arena as loud as possible. We are also working on road trips. We are still selling the `We Are Georgetown’ T-shirts. This year we are doing a charity fundraiser on how many blocked shots the team has over the year, and getting students to donate to that.
How else do you promote school spirit, other than through the men’s basketball team?
We are at everything. We support every team, but particularly the ones who play on campus. We will be at all home women’s basketball games. We went to all the football games and all of the home men and women’s soccer games. We will also be at the lacrosse games in the spring.
How would you describe Georgetown’s school spirit?
From the time that I was a freshman to my senior year it has grown tremendously. The atmosphere on campus, especially because of basketball, has improved. There is a greater unity on campus then there used to be, a more pleasant community. I still think there is a lot of room for growth, but it is definitely great right now.
How does Hoya Blue provide a different experience than just individual students attending a sporting event?
Well, Hoya Blue has existed in some form or another for a long time. Back in the ’80s, there were basketball support organizations. We do more to improve the atmosphere. There are a lot of students that go to games and like to watch sports, but we try to make it so people can participate and support the team more vocally. It’s hard to do that when you are a single person or you and your friend. When you are with a big group and everyone is doing it, then it is easier to jump in.
At the games, what does Hoya Blue do to organize the crowd?
At basketball games we have yell leaders who we give megaphones to and we have cheer sheets that give people suggestions of what they might want to do. At the smaller games, like soccer or football, we have some people from Hoya Blue with loud voices who like to cheer.
How has your role in Hoya Blue impacted your college experience?
It’s the people that I have become friends with. When I look back at college I am going to have great memories of being in Dayton, Ohio, and East Rutherford, N.J., and these random places that we have gone to on road trips. It is the experience with the people at these games that are so memorable – they are things you will never forget.
Do you think March Madness last spring really intensified Hoya Blue?
There are a lot more people now who want to be close to the basketball program and are more excited. That is primarily a result of how successful we were last year and what a fun time everyone had.
Are you optimistic about the new basketball season?