Smile for the camera

It is time to get out and support the Sam Houston State University men’s basketball team as the Bearkats take on the University of Texas-Arlington Mavericks on Monday at 7 p.m. in a live televised broadcast on Fox Sports Southwest.

The Bearkats are holding onto the No. 1 spot in the Southland Conference as they gear up for Monday’s big game at Bernard G. Johnson Coliseum.

The Bearkats defeated the Mavericks once this year on the UTA’s home turf, winning the Jan. 16 game 62-60. Currently the Mavericks are 7-5 in conference play and fourth in the Southland Conference standings.

Ed Chatal, coliseum director, said there will be a couch potato section for SHSU fans and everyone is encouraged to come out and support the team.

The widely popular couch potato section will be making its second return to the SHSU basketball court after its debut earlier this year on Jan. 23.

“We tried it once before and it has worked out pretty well, and we had somewhere between 25 and 30 students down there on the floor,” Chatal said. “Basically it gives a view on the court level, but overall it puts them closer to the action and it also complements the band, which also sits in that section right above them.”

The couch potato section complements section “D” in the bleachers where most SHSU students sit; therefore, it provides a triangular fan section on the court, he said.

The televised game was scheduled by the athletic directors in the conference. The conference athletic directors selected three games hosted by three different conference schools and SHSU was the second university chosen out of the three, Chatal said.

“We are fortunate to have this opportunity, since there are 11 teams in the conference and we are one of the three chosen from the 11 in the conference to have an opportunity to do this,” Chatal said. “I think it is all great, but the No. 1 thing is our basketball team.”

There are a lot of things going on for this game with the televised coverage, Jumbo Hot Dog night, couch potatoes and the band’s appearance; however, the Bearkat basketball team has given everyone a reason to come to the game, he said.

“We are here for this team and they have definitely given us a reason to be here since we are in first place right now and it is coming down to the end,” Chatal said. “These are all the other ways to bring excitement, but the main reason we are here is for Sam Houston State University basketball, and hopefully everyone will bring their loud voices and some signs and try to get your face on television.”

Helena Banks, SHSU student government president, said the Student Government Association is organizing a spirit campaign to get students out to support the Bearkats before the game on Monday.

“We give out phone cards to everyone we see with Sam Houston paraphernalia on,” Banks said. “I want a lot of people there and we are going to do whatever we can to get people there so we are giving away at least 200 phone cards.”

Sonya Stewart, communications chairman for the SGA, said her committee will be in the LSC Mall Area from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. passing out gifts to anyone wearing SHSU gear, or school colors.

Stewart said her crew also plans to pass out phone cards at the game to people who wear SHSU gear in support of the team. The SGA will have a table in the Mall Area to pass out phone cards and someone will be speaking on a microphone to get everyone into the school spirit for the game.

“Get ready and get excited for our team because we want it to be a big turnout and this is something we really need to support our school and our team in so everyone needs to come out,” Stewart said. “They will get free stuff from SGA if they come out to the Mall Area showing their school spirit.”

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