It's all well and good to spend time honoring the senior student-athletes competing for (hopefully) the last time on home court, and we'll get to the Men's Basketball seniors in a post later this morning, but we don't want to forget about other groups of seniors putting on the uniform for the last time.
Sometime during today's game, likely during media timeouts or halftime, the cheerleaders, Dazzlers, and pep band will honor their departing seniors who are performing for the last time. Basketball student managers are generally honored with the team pregame, but to the best of my knowledge there are no seniors among that group.
I speak often of the long Swimming and Diving season, but for the spirit squads, it's longer than any of the student-athletes. (Technically, the marching band and the pep band aren't the same, but there's a good deal of overlap.)
In particular, the Dazzlers get started in the middle of August and keep going until the spring game in football. In between, they're present at every football, men's basketball, and women's basketball game. I don't know the cheerleaders' exact schedule, but we see a good deal of them, too, and usually during women's basketball games the band is the team's loudest fans.
Much like the seniors on the court, the spirit squads are a year-round commitment even away from game days. Obviously everyone involved needs to stay in practice, and the groups show up at other events like Relay for Life, as well.
In advance of the ceremonies themselves during the game, here's a rundown of seniors from the spirit squads.
Remo A. (baritone and auxiliary percussion): Majored in Economics and Chemistry, minored in Management, and is pursuing a job in finance.
Erin B. (alto sax): Majored in Psychology.
Ray J. (tuba): Finishing up a masters in Math, one of the fabled UB Danglers dance crew.
Samantha R. (tenor sax): Majored in Biomedical Engineering.
Michelle S. (baritone): Majored in Biological Sciences.
Robert S. (drumset and cowbell): Majored in Management.
Brad S. (drumset)
Nate S. : Graduating with a degree in accounting.
Emily Cincotta is finishing a bachelors in occupational science. She then plans to earn her masters in occupational therapy.
Pedro Bryan Acosta is earning a bachelors in dance. He wants to audition for and work on a cruise ship and later to move to Los Angeles to work in dance in films.
Emily Weller is finishing a bachelors in communications. She then will continue her studies and education.
Laura Manciocchi is earning a bachelors in communication disorders and sciences and will continue on in graduate school for speech pathology. (thumbs-up from a one-time aspiring speech-language pathologist!)
Katie Olczak is finishing a bachelors in biomedical engineering and plans to earn her doctorate in the same field.
The Dazzlers have four seniors this year, three of whom are four-year members.
Marissa is the lone three-year member, but will be staying at UB, where she's already been accepted into the Doctor of Physical Therapy program. Kaylee, Angela, and Joelle are all four-year members of the dance team. Joelle is headed to nursing school, while Kaylee and Angela are both headed off to study law.
That's four seniors, and four pretty impressive academic next steps. There are some serious academic chops in all the groups. Best of luck with all of that.
And best of luck with everything! You don't get highlights on the local news, nicknames, or Bull Run posts written about you, but the Arena and gameday experience is wildly different without you. I have a feeling it's going to be real easy to do your job tonight.