As Wayne State student athletes kick off another year of college sports this semester, the Warrior Zone is entering its second year as WSU’s official student section.
Dean of Students David Strauss says the Warrior Zone was formed over a year ago by President M. Roy Wilson to focus on increasing school spirit at athletic events.
Now in its second year, the Warrior Zone has a spirit committee made up of representatives from marching band, dance team, cheer team, Greek organizations, residential life and Student Senate. Their mission is to help deliver a fun school spirit experience at athletic events and beyond, Strauss said.
“We were really excited. We theme it under the term Warrior Pride because now it’s expanded beyond athletic events,” Strauss said. “[The Warrior Zone] really is time to come out and have fun. It's celebrating Wayne State, meeting people and getting involved.”
After being approached by Strauss last summer, James Mallare, Anthony Kostecki and Marah Wahbeh soon became the first generation of Warrior Zone leaders. They looked to increase Warrior Pride on campus and get more students involved in athletic events at WSU.
“For us, as orientation leaders, [The Warrior Zone] is kind of like what we do at orientation. We try to increase awareness about warrior pride,” Wahbeh said.
To Mallare, a Warrior Zone section leader’s duty is to get the student section pepped up and excited in their corner of the crowd. This includes applying face tattoos and covering them in gear, such as their “famous green and gold overalls.”
Additionally, Kostecki says being a Warrior Zone section leader is also about “getting the crowd energized, engaged, and excited.” This includes leading the crowd by dancing, cheering and singing the fight song.
All three said they hope the Warrior Zone packs this year’s homecoming game enough to break last year’s attendance of 5,377 people.
This year, DOSO has a number of Warrior Zone incentives and giveaways. Strauss said students will receive “Warrior Swag” just by sitting in the Warrior Zone.
“We are giving out, at the first home game [Sept. 17], the Warrior Zone t-shirt, which was selected by freshmen at one of our orientations,” said Strauss.
Warrior Zone memorabilia such as sunglasses, ski caps, scarves and texting gloves will be available at the Warrior Zone where students check-in during games.
Larry Wallace, DOSO’s student activities coordinator, focuses on initiating school spirit on campus and part of that is through the Warrior Zone.
This year, Wallace said he is trying to structure the Warrior Zone to be more like a student organization.
“We want our Warrior Zone leaders have accountability and promote leadership,” Wallace said.
Wallace said the Warrior Zone may be the student section, but parents are encouraged to come out to games to support the athletes, as well.
To become involved with the Warrior Zone, like them on Facebook and follow them on Instagram @WSUWarriorzone.
Or, as Strauss says, “Just come to the game. We want you to be here.”