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School spirit abundant thanks to first-years

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Photo courtesy of Bri Varela

This fall, first-year students Ashley Beall and Bri Varela started a spirit table at Drake football and soccer games. People of all ages can pick up and use face paint, blue hair spray, tattoos, beads, posters and, sometimes, even morphsuits, all free of charge.

The two, who also hold positions on the Herriott Hall Executive Council and are members of the rowing team, came up with the idea after the first football game of the season. Earlier that week, at the Welcome Weekend event titled “Welcome to the Team,” Athletic Director Sandy Hatfield Clubb offered to provide students with spirit gear for the upcoming game against Grand View.

Beall took her up on the offer, and soon fans started asking where she had gotten her facepaint. Beall saw her opportunity.

“I thought it would be really fun to have a spirit table set up just to support the team,” Beall said.

After gaining approval from Clubb, Beall requested the help of Varela, and the spirit table made its debut for the second home football game of the season against Montana State.

The table caters to all: students, children and fans of all kind have stopped by to spray on a blue mohawk or have a paw print painted on their check.

“I think one of the best parts is when you give little kids all of this free stuff, and you just see that smile light up on their face, and they’re so excited and it’s so much fun,” Beall said.

Beall and Varela are happy to be involved with promoting school spirit.

“I feel like I’m actually doing something for my school, which is cool,” Varela said.

Clubb enjoys the atmosphere the spirit table helps create on game day.

“It’s terrific. It’s fun to see the kids running around, students and younger kids running around, getting excited that they’re at a Drake football game,” Clubb said. “It adds a lot of excitement. The players appreciate it, the coaches love it.”

Beall and Varela have both shown leadership, showing how Drake provides an immediate opportunity for students to excel.

“They’re amazing, honestly. I just can’t believe those two young women. They’re into everything and they’ve only been campus a few months,” Clubb said.

The table will appear at one more men’s soccer game, as well as the home finale for football. As for the winter sports, the duo plans on bringing the table to both men’s and women’s basketball games, but Beall says that they won’t limit themselves to just those.

“Let’s just say that we’re going to try and cover as many sports as we can,” Beall said.

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