As we approach the end of football season, Auburn fans will not be the only ones looking for other sports to turn their attention to in the off season.
The Jungle, the official student section for Auburn Men’s Basketball, has continued to grow, and with its expansion, grow the energy within the student section with each passing year.
Since its creation, The Jungle has focused soley on basketball, and has been full of passion, chaos and loyal, eager students at every game to cheer on the team and support their school.
However, as we approach the start of the basketball season, The Jungle is looking at the possibility of expanding into other Auburn sports and the opportunity to spread that excitement that can be found at every basketball game in Neville Arena.
Jenny McBride, the current president of The Jungle, said that while the focus of The Jungle is always going to be Men’s basketball, the members are excited about the idea of expanding into other sports.
“While The Jungle’s main roots and foundation is in Men’s Basketball in the arena, we have worked with the Athletics Department and other student leaders to expand the Jungle into supporting different teams,” McBride said.
However, McBride says that the idea is not to create a carbon copy of The Jungle for every Auburn Sport, but rather have similarly structured, established student sections, under the umbrella of The Jungle.
“For instance, our Jungle members are excited about creating new names for the student sections at other sports,” McBride said. “We are talking about calling soccer “Hoppa’s Hooligans” or gymnastics, “Gymnasties.”
McBride said that she is most excited about seeing the passion of The Jungle extend into other sports.
“I’m already seeing the expansion of The Jungle, and we have already greatly increased the number of staff,” McBride said. “And each of our staff members brings a different passion for sports to the table. With our numbers, I cannot wait to see the passion spread to other sports not only through our staff, but also through Auburn students.”
As for this year’s basketball season, McBride said that she is looking forward to forming new relationships with the Auburn Athletics staff and students, as well as seeing all of the hard work of the executive board and staff of The Jungle come to fruition.
“The Jungle currently holds weekly meetings for our exec and staff members to plan out this upcoming season,” McBride said. “We want to make sure we have all of the merch, prints and themes planned out for the season so we are ahead of the game. We also coordinate with athletics staff, Dan Heck, Caroline Colletta and Matt Amos to make sure everything is running smoothly.”
McBride said many of her favorite moments throughout her time as an Auburn student have come from inside Neville Arena, cheering on the Men’s Basketball team with thousands of loyal fans by her side.
“I started my freshman year off as one of the students who camped outside waiting to get a good spot for the game. I made some of my closest friends doing this,” McBride said. “I continued standing in lines throughout the previous season, and I fell in love with the atmosphere. I saw what people are willing to sacrifice to get access to the game [whether that be sleep, warmth, or other plans], and the love our students have for not only Bruce Pearl and the Men’s Basketball team, but also Auburn University itself.
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Kara Mautz, senior in human development and family studies with a minor in journalism, is a culture writer at The Auburn Plainsman.