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Max Out Barnes
Smurfs, lumberjacks, construction workers: You might think I'm describing a Halloween party. Instead, I am describing the most electric sporting event at Covenant College, Max Out Barnes.
While I love professional sports, nothing can beat a crowded stadium or arena of people who all have vested interest in seeing their current or former college beat the team that they all hated during their college years. There is a bond between former and current students, in which they all enjoy the shared experience that they had in going to the same college, even if they're thirty years apart. Part of me is jealous of that atmosphere. I sometimes wish that I was part of an arena that filled 15,000 seats, with everyone screaming so loud that I can't even hear myself.
However, Max Out Barnes always reminds me why I love being a Covenant College Scot. There may not be thousands of seats, but Max Out Barnes is a well orchestrated event that gives students, parents, and alumni alike a reason to fill the stands and put forth a little extra effort in their cheers, chants, and screams.
The Covenant Scots squared up against Piedmont as hundreds of fans filled up the student section of the bleachers at Barnes Physical Education Center in order to take in the most hyped basketball game of the season. Men's Basketball Manager Eli Hickman ’25 said, "The gym was so loud that none of the players could even hear their names being announced before the game started."
Piedmont came out with a diamond-like zone defense, an approach that Covenant's offense didn't have to face very often. However, it didn't mean much. While part of the first half was close, the Scots pulled away towards the end of the first half and went into the locker room with a six-point lead.
During halftime, three students were picked to be a part of a basketball shooting contest with $5,000 at stake, however, no one was able to bring the big prize home. After that, Scots fans were treated with the first ever musical halftime performance at a Covenant College sporting event from rapper and former Covenant College student, Barcari, and got the crowd rocking for the second half.
The Scots came out with a vengeance, as they were determined to put away the Piedmont team. After leading by 23 at one point, Piedmont scored some "garbage time" points and closed it to a 14 point deficit as the final buzzer sounded. Covenant won soundly, 66-52, as they continue to dominate the USA South West Division. However, as fun as it was for the fans and for the team to win their game, the fan experience was more than just that.
Noah Moore ’23 said that while the win complimented the experience, it was the hall bonding and going to the game 45 minutes early in order to get the best seats that made it so fun. Noah's hall dressed up in flannels and very short jorts (jean shorts), while other halls painted themselves blue along with other silly outfits.
Basketball was the main event, but Max Out Barnes was a time for many students to enjoy the college experience. Since Covenant students go to a small NCAA Division III school, Max Out Barnes allows students to experience something similar to what many students at large universities are able to enjoy (proportionally). Much of what I described at the beginning of this article was what we got to experience for a night, and for many Covenant sports fans, it is the highlight of the athletic year.
This article originally appeared in the Feb. 25, 2022 issue of The Bagpipe.