‘Storm 30’ adds new aspects to routine

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‘Storm 30’ adds new aspects to routine

Cheerleaders perform during “Storm 30” at the first home game of the season. Spectators can watch the performance at any home game. Jacob Summerville/The Lion’s Roar

Cheerleaders perform during “Storm 30” at the first home game of the season. Spectators can watch the performance at any home game. Jacob Summerville/The Lion’s Roar

Cheerleaders perform during “Storm 30” at the first home game of the season. Spectators can watch the performance at any home game. Jacob Summerville/The Lion’s Roar

Cheerleaders perform during “Storm 30” at the first home game of the season. Spectators can watch the performance at any home game. Jacob Summerville/The Lion’s Roar

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A football pregame tradition has continued to evolve with the start of the new season.

Thirty minutes before kickoff, “Storm 30” is a pep rally that starts in Friendship Circle and migrates into Strawberry Stadium. The Lionettes and the Spirit of the Southland Marching Band and Colorguard perform as they march through Friendship Circle.

This season, the Victory Bell was incorporated into the routine.

Lindsey Owens, assistant athletic director of marketing and student promotions, explained that the new addition was voted on by the University Traditions Committee.

“We felt like the Victory Bell is such a vital component of game day, and it’s been parked on the turf for home games,” shared Owens. “As an institution, it was important to let others see the bell up close and have it recognized. So, now it lives in Friendship Circle until ‘Storm 30’ where our Southeastern ROTC walks the Victory Bell into the south end zone of Strawberry Stadium.”

A student group named the “MANEiacs” has returned to the “Storm 30” line up.

Owens said that these students are in the routine to enhance the spirit of the occasion.

“This group is exclusively made-up of Southeastern students who showed interest in extending their passion and love for Southeastern Athletics,” said Owens.

Since fans are encouraged to follow the procession into Strawberry Stadium 30 minutes before the official start time, traffic at the entrance gate during kickoff is lessened.

“Students will be able to take advantage of getting a better seat in the student section as well as get free giveaways, if applicable, as there are limited quantities available,” explained Owens.

While the event has been around for years, Owens says Athletics is wanting to raise awareness of the tradition.

“This is a traditional activity for Southeastern and athletics, but we felt it was time to communicate the purpose and idea to those who may be new to campus or have just joined us on game day.”

Derek Stoughton, director of athletic bands, shared that one difference he noticed in the performance is that the band now follows behind the cheerleaders and university fire truck instead of leading the parade.

According to Stoughton, the first home game presented challenges for the band with it being some member’s first time.

“There are always a lot of new folks who are joining us for the first time, and we haven’t settled into a normal routine yet,” said Stoughton. “There is always a lot of excitement and energy in the air, and you have to constantly be reminding your people to stay focused, remember what we’ve practiced, and execute everything to the highest level possible.”

Overall, Stoughton is proud of the way the first performance went.

“Everything that we did was done with a high success level,” shared Stoughton. “That being said, we’re always working on improving our sounds, getting better on our first notes and remaining focused throughout the entire day. However, I am very proud of our group and thought that they performed excellently all day.”

Fans can witness “Storm 30” at every home football game, and the next home game is scheduled for Oct. 12 at 4 p.m. against the University of the Incarnate Word.

“MANEiacs” walk into the Strawberry Stadium during the first home game of the season. Jacob Summerville/The Lion’s Roar.