Don't Underestimate The Gamecocks
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Don't Underestimate The Gamecocks

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Don't Underestimate The Gamecocks
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It's 11:15 on a Sunday night. You're in Columbia, South Carolina; what do you hear? Well, on any normal Sunday evening (especially on campus), you would hear the occasional car alarm sounding and the annoying hum of the train passing by. Nothing spectacular -- nothing exciting. However, this past Sunday night held an entirely different vibe. Car horns were honking, air horns were blasting, people were cheering. Mobs of people were forming in every direction while chants were being shouted. Back and forth you’d hear: “Game!” and in response, all that would sound was, “Cocks!” All in unison. Students from everywhere circled around the fountain, restaurants were soon swarmed by massive amounts of people and all you could hear, even from the inside of buildings, was the constant cheering of all the proud Gamecocks. THIS is the kind of spirit that we Gamecocks possess. THIS is what victory sounds like for the University of South Carolina and THIS is why I am so proud to be a Carolina Gamecock.

This past football season and our current basketball season have given our student body much more excitement than we could have ever imagined. We won six games last fall when in 2015 we only won 3. We earned ourselves a bowl game and even had the grit to beat good ol' Tennessee.

Saturday, October 29th. It was just another Saturday in Columbia. Tailgates were stirring and fans were gathering. It was game day at Williams Brice, and everyone was preparing to enter the gates and begin swirling their white towels in the air. Little did we know, the Gamecocks were about to make us proud. The Sandstorm was about to have energy that I’ve never felt before, and tears were about to fall from fans’ eyes. I was a couple rows back from the field standing with my best friends. However, we were never too up to date with sports, especially football. We went for the crowd, the experience, and for the memories. And man, was this one memory I will NEVER forget.

Not even 5 minutes into the game, USC scored. The crowd went INSANE. Then, Tennessee. Second quarter now, and we scored. AGAIN. We were winning. My friends and I had originally planned to leave during halftime, but with Carolina in the lead, we decided it was best to stay. (To this day, that has been the best decision I have made in college -- no joke). Then, USC kicked a field goal, and Tennessee got another touchdown. The score at the end of the 3rd quarter was 17-14 with the Gamecocks in the lead. We had a chance: 15 minutes on the clock. One quarter to keep our lead, just one. We were going to do it; I had no doubt.

At this point, it is dark outside, but the stadium had never been more lit up. The student section was jam-packed, and the cheers only got louder and louder as the minutes on the clock began to dwindle down. I was squeezing my friends’ hands so hard I thought they’d go numb. The thousands of eyes in Willy B were all focused on one thing: the field. There were no distractions- the world seemed to stop. In the final quarter, each team scored a touchdown. As the minutes passed, so quickly but oh so slowly at the same time, Tennessee had the ball. Were they going to score and win the game? We were all on the edge of our seats. Then, the minute went away: it was just seconds. 59 seconds, then 30, then 10. We were all staring at the clock. We did it. USC beat the Tennessee Volunteers. 24-21, us. US. THE GAMECOCKS. Students sprinted to the gates to run onto the field, tears were pouring out of our eyes, our voices hurt because we were cheering all the way home. “USC! USC! USC!”

Never have I been so excited, or so proud, to be a Gamecock. That is, until March Madness.

This past Sunday, March 19th, was another victory. Another win that had the Gamecocks cheering until the sun came up (literally). Our men’s basketball team was good, but everyone knows Duke’s is better. (Right?) WRONG.

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We were in the mix with 31 other teams, and we were set to play Duke in Greenville, South Carolina. I didn’t even want to watch the game as I slightly feared the outcome, as I’m sure everyone else did too. In the first half, Carolina scored 23 points and Duke was winning with 30 points. But, in the second half, with 15:59 on the clock, Chris Silva scored. Raising our points to 37, while Duke had 38. Then, with 15:18 on the clock, the ball gets passed to Silva, and BAM. We scored AGAIN. Gamecocks were on top. 39-38, us. Fast forward to 50 seconds left in the game: we kept scoring. We were at 82; Duke was at 72. When the buzzer sounded, the score was 88-81. South Carolina stunned Duke, knocking them out of the tournament, and blasted forward into the Sweet Sixteen. This was the biggest victory in men’s basketball history for USC. This was iconic; this was definitely one for the books. Our first time ever making it to the Sweet Sixteen: this was something to cheer about, for sure.

It was about 11:15 p.m. when all that happened. Columbia came alive; everyone was up and out. Everyone was ready to celebrate. There were herds of people walking on the brick pathways throughout campus, students on top of eachother’s shoulders throwing their fists into the sky. Even our president, Harris Pastides, was out on the Horseshoe with everyone taking part in the chants. “Game!” “Cocks!” is all you’d hear.

“I believe that we will win, I believe that we will win!”

“Sweet CAROLINE, Ba, Ba, Bum!”


I have never seen the campus so excited. I have never felt so much energy, or heard so many people cheering at once. It was so incredibly overwhelming -- but in a good way, a great way. Headlines on posts read “South Carolina Upsets Duke to earn Sweet 16 Bid” and “South Carolina knocks off Duke.” Social media was going crazy! The world was shocked, and brackets were destroyed (sorry, but not really). Never have I ever been so proud.

This was the exact reason I wanted to come to a SEC school. I wanted to be a part of the excitement, cheer for a team, and feel the adrenaline rush through my veins as we had something to cheer about. I will always be caught wearing my Garnet and Black. I will always cheer on the Gamecocks no matter what. USC is without a doubt the best school with the BEST school spirit, and I will never forget the excitement I felt during those two games. We are all one big community. If you see a fellow Gamecock, you two immediately share a connection. The love and the energy on this campus are overflowing, and I love it. Especially now -- we are all smiles here in Columbia. The Gamecocks are back, and we are ready to rumble.

Thank you, USC, for giving me these experiences and memories in such a short time. I know this is only the beginning, and I cannot wait to see what else is in store.

Never underestimate the Gamecocks.

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.

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