BUIES CREEK, N.C. – Jonathan Boggs of Campbell University has been selected as the Advance Auto Parts Big South Conference Basketball "Fan of the Year."
A freshman sport management major from Holly Springs, N.C., Boggs received $500 worth of Advance Auto Parts gift cards and a pair of tickets to the Women's Tournament Championship Game. He will receive his award during the Big South Women's Basketball Championship this week in High Point.
In addition to supporting the Camels during home games in the 2011-12 season, Boggs also traveled to games at Virginia Tech, North Carolina State and High Point to cheer for his team. He recently took the time to answer a few questions to provide insight to his enthusiasm for Campbell Basketball.
Question: What inspired you to dress like you do for the games, with the reflective vest, helmet, sprite cans, etc.?
Boggs: The suit I wear has really evolved over the years; the vest idea originated from a senior when I was a sophomore (at Holly Springs High School), after he graduated I carried on the tradition. The helmet with Sprite cans was an addition I made in high school as a senior when my school went to the state championship in baseball. I felt we needed something new and when I saw it in the store it felt right.
The traffic barrel/spirit barrel has been a tradition at HSHS for years, the senior leaders of the Purple Craze (student section) acquire one, and paint it weekly, and beat it and bang it throughout games, it serves as a symbol of our pride! I created the neon shorts for Neon day in high school my senior year. Finally I got my rip off pants and jersey this year from a team assistant after attending the Virginia Tech game. I'm always looking for something new and wild to add!
Q: When did you start supporting your teams with such fervor?
Boggs: In high school I was one of the student leaders of the "Purple Craze" our student section. We were always pushing the rules to the limits but never breaking them!
Q: Were you aware of the success the basketball team enjoyed in 2010 when they won the Atlantic Sun regular season championship?
Boggs: I did know of the Camels' success in 2010, and more importantly was aware of the Big South pre-season rankings (where Campbell was picked 9th of 11 teams). Those got me fired up to prove some people wrong!
Q: What were the driving factors in your decision to attend Campbell?
Boggs: Campbell has been a school my family has attended for awhile. My mom, uncle, aunt, brother, and sister-in-law all attended Campbell, so that had a big factor. Also the school's small size makes it nice to be able to see some of the faces you see in different sports frequently around campus and talk with them.
Q: How important are home basketball games to you? Do you regularly schedule events, study time around games?
Boggs: With a few conflicts with my schedule, I attended nearly every home basketball game this year. It's important to be able to give the team a home court advantage. Being raised in ACC country I know how valuable that can be! The goal of being at home is to let our guys know we're behind them no matter what, and let the other team know they aren't welcome. I always say "Push our team to victory, and the other to their breaking point!" Oh, and it's fun!
With that being said I also believe away games are important and are even more fun than home games! Let our guys no we're there and supporting them; but best of all that feeling I'm sure every athlete loves that "Yankee player walking into Fenway" kind of thing where you feed off everyone else's hate for you,
Q: Who are some of your friends that you share the front row in the student section with? Did you all plan your game night costumes?
Boggs: I stand up front with Orangeman, Nick Ostaszeski (Blind Ref) and Troy Beckham (Mario or Luigi), Josh Vassey, and Fletcher Webster. We put it upon ourselves at the beginning of the season to figure out something unique to wear and this is the result!
Q: Do you organize your group? On game days, do you "talk up the game" around campus and are actively involved in trying to get people to come out to support the team?
Boggs: I definitely try to talk up games, if that's making announcements in class, or yelling at people around campus through a traffic cone! We generally have a good amount of people from my door (Kitchin) come, so there's always the "Kitchin Crazies" at games.
Q. What is your best memory of the season?
Boggs: One of the best times I had was at the road trip to High Point! Though we lost by quite a bit, the group of fans that came never gave up! (Even though we were) down near the end of the game, we were yelling louder than ever supporting the team, and out-yelling the High Point fans. The best part of losing an away game (State, and Virginia Tech included) is when the other fans rub it in your face and try to fluster you yelling "LETS GO CAMELS!!! GOOO BAPTISTS!!!" the lack of a loss in spirit; and lack of being negative back to them leaves them speechless…with priceless faces!
Q: Coach Robbie Laing has credited the crowd with helping his team win games this year. In your opinion, how important is the atmosphere at Gore Arena?
Boggs: Well we can attribute the crowd's success to the team giving it their all the whole season and giving no one an excuse not to come. But I certainly think it has to be more fun to play for a crowd going crazy than to the sound of crickets. I think that gets our guys excited, and gets high school players excited to want to play here in college! Me and Nick Ostaszeski have discussed the idea that schools should recruit fans just like athletes, every player wants a crazy fan base so let's hit the recruiting trails and bring in some 5-star fans!
Q: Have you had any (good natured) interaction with any of the visiting teams this year? If so, with whom, and from which school?
Boggs: Playing Fayetteville State, one of their players was named Travis Marcus. We made a sign that read "Travis Marcus is too good for a last name!" It got their bench laughing, and after the game I took a picture of the poster, uploaded it to Facebook and tagged a player from Holly Springs High School I knew on FSU's team. Two days later I got a notification that their Assistant Coach tagged Travis in the picture!
Also I have tried to trade teams their different brands of sneakers for my moccasins all season. Though I get laughs, no one has accepted.
Q: Who do you consider Campbell's biggest rival, overall and in the Big South Conference?
Boggs: I certainly (don't like) Asheville, but more than them for some reason I have grown a (distaste) for High Point. It may have been their fans at the game I went to, the closeness, whatever the reason I don't like them, and don't care for them!
Q: What are your interests and hobbies?
Boggs: I am a sports junkie; I love watching ESPN supporting my teams (Camels, Steelers, Tar Heels, Carolina Hurricanes, and Yankees). I participate in scouting, and am an Eagle Scout.
Also I work with the Carolina Hurricanes Storm Squad on College Nights, doing what the girls do, cheering, slinging t-shirts, and whatnot.
Q: What are your future plans?
Boggs: After school I want to get a job working in the sports field as possibly a venue operator, marketer, agent, or in management.