A sea of cardinal and gold poured into the Galen Center Thursday night as hundreds of students came together to celebrate USC athletics.
Fall rallies in previous years focused only on USC football, but all sports were featured this year.
“USC is more than just a football school,” said Daniel Ramirez, director of Trojan Pride and rally organizer. “We are an athletic powerhouse.”
Naa Adei Mante, a freshman majoring in engineering, said she left the rally more excited about USC athletics than she was before.
“I’m so pumped right now,” she said. “It was exhilarating and I can’t wait to see what USC sports have in store this fall.”
In addition to cheering on athletes from all sports, the Trojan Marching Band, Spirit Leaders, Song Girls and the Trojan Dance Force performed.
Arrogant Nation blogger Zack Jerome hosted the event and introduced the teams present.
“USC is home to some amazing athletes,” Jerome said. “This university has more Olympic gold medals than most countries.”
Senior women’s tennis player Alison Ramos said the rally was “absolutely electrifying.”
“This is the first rally I have attended and it was so amazing that I regret not going to one during my first years here,” Ramos said. “The Galen Center was the perfect location for something like this and it added so much too the overall experience.”
Women’s volleyball coach Mick Haley said he was not surprised the Galen Center was selected to house the event.
“It’s clearly the best place on campus for a rally,” Haley said. “With 10,000 seats, gorgeous views of the San Gabriel Mountains, and easy student access, it’s ideal for an event like this.”
Collaboration between several student organizations and the athletic department brought the rally to the Galen Center.
“It’s a much better suited location than Heritage Hall or somewhere outside,” said Monish Tyagi, Undergraduate Student Government president. “The acoustics, air conditioning and beautiful space added a great deal to the entertainment value of the event.”
Men’s basketball coach Kevin O’Neill called the rally a huge success.
“Bringing everyone together under one roof was a really smart thing,” he said. “It was also a smart idea to focus on all sports and encourage everyone to support each other.”
Junior quarterback Emon Saee said he feels more closely connected to non-football athletes after sharing classes, training rooms and participating in Thursday’s rally.
“I began feeling more connected to other student-athletes the moment I enrolled in the fall of 2010,” Saee said. “I think it’s awesome all fall sports are being recognized because all athletes work hard and deserve to be appreciated.”
When USC athletics were more intertwined in the 1960s and 1970s, an increase in sports and practice space has challenged USC athletics to remain closely unified, according to Haley.
“With so many sports operating outside Heritage Hall, it’s easy for programs to get segregated,” Haley said. “But in order for athletes to be the best they can be, they have to network, respect, and build relationships with one another. That’s what the Trojan Family is all about.”