UMBC held its third annual Retriever Rally on Friday night at the Retriever Activities Center as part of the week long homecoming events.
Students and parents nearly filled the 4,024 seat arena in support of the retrievers athletic programs. The student athletes from the women’s volleyball, women’s and men’s soccer, and women’s and men’s lacrosse programs came out in an effort to show retriever pride and in support of the men’s and women’s basketball teams.
There was a sense of excitement in the crowd from the second the doors opened, and the attendees entered the arena through the back and gold inflatable tunnel, helping set the tone for what was to come.
The diverse number of activities and giveaways, along with the constant music kept the crowd engaged. It started with the Air Elites, an acrobatic slam dunk team, bringing the crowd to their feet with their trampoline dunk performances. The festivities also included Simon says, a dance contest, musical chairs, t-shirt giveaways, along with chances to win gift cards and Under Armour drawstring bags among other things. Students were selected for these events at random.
The UMBC Sports Marketing department, along with the Student Events Board handed out LED bracelets, rally towels, bandanas, banners and black and gold beads to help UMBC students and parents of the athletes show their school spirit. (seb) served free food to those attending, handing out snacks such as pretzels, churros and hot dogs among other things. The rally also featured performances by a baton twirler, the UMBC dance team, the UMBC drum line, the marching band itself and the UMBC cheerleaders.
The moment people walked into the arena, they received all access passes to the home openers of the men’s and women’s basketball games. The passes served as raffle tickets and a chance at winning a 55-inch flat screen TV.
After those events, the women’s basketball team was introduced. After a dance performed by the team, the men’s basketball team was introduced. The men held up a surfboard representing their participation in the upcoming Maui Invitational. The public address announcer then introduced the coaches of both teams. The head men’s and women’s coaches, Phil Stern and Aki Thomas briefly spoke, imploring the Retriever Believers to show the same enthusiasm at the games that they showed at the rally.
The last event of the evening was the half court shot for $50,000. The contestant, Peter Wu, fell just short of the grand prize.
The general vibe felt throughout the event was energetic. The crowd was engaged from start to finish, and felt as though the festivities were worth their time.
“The music was good,” said freshman Austin Rozario. “The contests were entertaining.” “I would be more likely to go see a basketball game,” said transfer student Alvaro Orellana.
The Retrievers men’s basketball team home opener is November 19 versus Loyola. The women’s opener is November 13 against Columbia.