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CSU women’s basketball aims to inspire students with Education Day

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Collegian | Samantha Nordstrom
Elementary students cheer when the Colorado State University women’s basketball team scores a basket against Nevada at Moby Arena in Fort Collins, CO Feb. 28.

As opposed to the typical sights of rowdy college students, childlike joy filled the stands of Moby Arena Wednesday morning.

The roaring of more than 6,000 elementary students made the Nevada players laugh among themselves before the tipoff as they stood unsure of what to do through the deafening noise of the child-filled crowd.

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Reminiscent of a sold-out game, hordes of yellow school buses flocked to Moby Arena for the ninth annual Education Day. At the game, Colorado State women’s basketball took on Nevada, and something is to be said about the intimidating impact of thousands of screaming children on Moby as CSU won 54-51.

Many ties can be seen between the sold-out Moby crowd for the Fight Like a Ram event against San Jose State and the nearly full seating at Moby for this game. Only this time, it was Poudre Valley and Thompson school district elementary school students filling the stands. 

“There was a lot of energy in that arena today, and that really sparked us as the game progressed,” coach Ryun Williams said. “They provided the Moby magic today; the young kids did.”

That Moby magic is not to be overlooked, as it propelled the Rams through the game while they were lacking in the first half. 

“The reason (Cailyn) Crocker played well today was because her head was right,” Williams said. “Some of our other kids played flustered, you could see it, for whatever reason that is and you don’t want that out of a mature team, but it happened.”

After three quarters of low shooting percentages — possibly due to the sheer amount of noise in Moby or the aggression held toward Nevada — CSU pulled through in the fourth quarter. 

That attitude became a common theme for the Rams as the fourth quarter became as vital as ever, especially after their disappointing loss to Nevada on the road earlier in the year.

“In the kids game, we love them, but they just scream in general,” Crocker said. “So there is never a dull moment, and you literally can’t hear, or you have to really focus the whole game no matter what’s happening. So I think it is just a different fun atmosphere.”

That energy stayed throughout the entire game, even in the pits and falls, not dropping a single decibel until the final buzzer blared.

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At one point in the second quarter, CSU was down by seven, letting Nevada get through their defense and the CSU offense missing field goals, but the shining lights of Moby Arena were the only thing on the kid’s minds.

“It’s huge for the kids because, for some, this will be the only experience they get at a collegiate athletic event,” said Leila King, a fifth-grade teacher at Shepardson STEM Elementary School. “We’d love to get a win so they can see their home team advance. … And also generate more excitement around getting out and knowing that this is in their backyard.”

After all, the hordes of school buses that descended on Moby Arena in the morning showed the incredible lengths that both school districts are willing to go to give a life-changing experience. 

That is, generating that excitement not only for sports, but for collegiate endeavors in general. Furthering education is an important topic on teachers’ minds as they bring their classrooms to CSU’s campus.

“I think this is such an exciting environment, and I think it fosters a love for sports and a love for extending their education; it’s just great,” said Jackie Jones, a fourth-grade teacher from Centennial Elementary School.

Reach Liv Sewell at sports@collegian.com or on Twitter @Liv_sewell22

Interested in more sports content? Sign up for Ram Report here for weekly CSU sports updates!

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