The excitement appears to be back at the Rod Oldham Athletic Center and it isn't only on the court.
Thanks to the efforts of senior football players Jake Fieler and Cody Hively, the student section-appropriately named the South Pyschos-has turned the ROAC into one of the loudest venues at which opposing teams compete upon.
"A lot of the credit goes to Jake (Fieler) and Cody (Hively)," Patriots head coach Mike Fallon said following his team's 83-35 win over John Marshall on Friday night. "They got everything organized and have pretty much orchestrated the whole thing.
"I think it's great. It's one more step in returning to the tradition this school has had over the years when it comes to basketball."
The section, which was overflowing with students decked out in their lime green shirts, was loud the entire game despite the fact that the game's outcome was not-ever-in-doubt following the first quarter of action.
Students stood the entire game, cheering on their beloved Patriots, but, at the same time, letting the opposing team know that they were in for a long evening.
What made the entire scene better was the fact that the section never took an unsportsmanlike approach to their cheering. There was the occasional 'airball' yell when a Monarchs player failed to hit the rim on his shot and the group did yell out the word 'dribble' every time a John Marshall player accomplished that feat as well as the words 'pass' and 'shot' when one of the brown and gold clad visitors performed one of those skills.
But all was done in fun and even drew smiles from some of the players that were attempting to hand the Patriots their second loss of the young season.
Making the ROAC an even more intimidating environment was Shawn Shockey, who handles playing the pre-game warmup as well as the halftime and timeout music, and longtime announcer Ken Davis. The duo have a lot of fun at what they do and do everything they can to keep the student section involved in the action.
"We want teams to come in to the ROAC and leave feeling like they have never been to a louder arena," said Fallon. "And our kids feed off of a lot of the things (the students) do. It makes them want to play even harder when they seen their classmates standing and cheering the way they were tonight."
Fallon is hoping that the "Psychos" will make the Patriots' next contest-a road game at crosstown rival Parkersburg-more like a home encounter when they return to the court on Saturday night.
"It's a great feeling knowing that you have fans like these," said the South coach. "This is the type of crowd you'd like to play in front of every night. We just want to make sure that we give them something to cheer about."
And after watching the red, white and blue dismantle the Monarchs it would appear that they will have plenty for which to cheer about. This team has all of the tools to make a long run in the postseason.