Midnight Madness brings in the masses

By Harley Brown-

Sports Editor

One of the most unique activities hosted by the men’s and women’s basketball teams falls right in the middle of homecoming week this year.

Midnight Madness officially marks the start of the 2015-2016 basketball season and consists of performances by the Texan Cheer Team, Texan Stars, the Sound and the Fury and most importantly the basketball teams. It will take place Oct. 14 in Wisdom Gym with doors opening at 11:15 p.m.

“I’m looking forward to having a good time at Midnight Madness,” said Michael Hardge, a senior on the men’s basketball team. “Seeing all the people support us and the girls is a great feeling. I can’t imagine what this year’s turnout will be since it’s during Homecoming Week.”

Senior TexAnn Raven McGrath felt similarly.

Each year's Midnight Madness dance is unique. At Midnight Madness 2014, the TexAnns used sunglasses as props during the performance. (Photo by Leanne Flores)

Each year’s Midnight Madness dance is unique. At Midnight Madness 2014, the TexAnns used sunglasses as props during the performance.
(Photo by Leanne Flores)

“It’s so awesome seeing the fans literally filling up Wisdom Gym every year. It’s heart warming seeing everyone and knowing how much they support us,” she said. “I’m really hoping it’s packed due to it being during homecoming week this year.”

The women’s basketball team will perform an original dance routine during Midnight Madness. They choreographed the dance weeks prior to the event.

McGrath said, “Since we’re not really dancers, we do have to have a lot of practices. If we’re going to do [the dance], we’re going to make it look good.”

The TexAnns have around 10 practices in preparation for their Midnight Madness performance.

While the women are able to show off their dancing capabilities, the men get to show off their dunking skills when it’s their time to shine. Hardge says the dunks are a “friendly rivalry” since it’s not a competition. Most of their performance is made up of drills and plays they run in everyday practice. However, the men’s routine isn’t quite as prepared as the women’s.

“When it comes to dancing, we go out there and do what we want,” said Hardge.

Incorporating dancing into Midnight Madness began when head coach of the TexAnns, Misty Wilson, was a player at Tarleton.

“We were thinking, ‘Okay, we can’t dunk. So, what do we have that the guys don’t?’ So, we went with the dance, and they’ve done it every year since,” said Wilson. “They’re a lot better now than we were then.”

Wilson is looking forward to seeing the performance from a new team and has no doubt that they will entertain the crowd.

“They’re very good at [entertaining]. They entertain me every day before practice,” said Wilson.

As a coach, Wilson prefers the women to be uniformed and encourages them not to stand out during a game. However, she thinks it’s important for the crowd to see each player’s personality and realize how different each player really is.

McGrath said, “The coaches love midnight madness and love watching us do it, but they aren’t really the dancing type,” Wilson feels otherwise. She said if the girls were to eventually ask her to guest star in their performance, she wouldn’t turn them down. She’s even hinted at the fact she used to have a tap board at home for when she used to like tap dancing, although she feels a tap routine wouldn’t fit well with the dance routines that the girls normally have in mind.

“I offered my services if they needed me [in their performance], but for some reason they haven’t approached me about it,” Wilson said.

Wilson, Hardge and McGrath would like to see everyone come support all the groups participating in Midnight Madness this year.

“We love signs, noise makers any anything else you can think about bringing that shows support,” said Hardge.

“I encourage everybody to come out,” said Wilson. “It’s a great way to make that bond with your university a little tighter.”

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