As many of you know, I grew up nearby in Pittsburgh, and moved to West Virginia nearly nine years ago.
This has been my home ever since. I am proud to say I root for the Mountaineers, a fan base I’ve never seen anything quite like.
So I wanted to know, what does being a “Mountaineer” really mean? I asked some of the biggest fans I know to find out.
There is nothing quite like being a Mountaineer fan. People across the Mountain State bleed blue and gold. They have a true passion for their team.
But what is it about the flying “WV” and the infamous country roads that keeps these loyal fans coming back, win or lose?
“Well, to be a fan of the Mountaineers, we’re pretty much the pride of West Virginia, so when you root for the team, it’s almost like you’re rooting for the whole state,” Shawn Rohrig said.
“And they really represent what West Virginia represents, one big family,” Shawn Fluharty said. “And that’s what being a Mountaineer is all about. It’s being part of one big family, coming together at times like this, when we hit the national stage it really takes on a new life.”
Many fans say the national stage is where the Mountaineers can truly shine. Just ask Tracie Vandevander Baker who has been going to games since she was a little girl.
“And the more people who doubt us, the more we love it, because we love to go out and prove people wrong,” Baker said.
“Every once in a while, we shock the world,” Senator Jeff Kessler said.
For Senator Jeff Kessler, being a Mountaineer fan means deep roots in the state.
“Well I was born in West Virginia, I bleed gold and blue and I always have since I was a little boy, probably their age,” Kessler said.
But the Kessler’s have been having a little fun around the house the past few weeks. While son Hastings is taking dad’s side, Jackson is going with mom on this one.
“I’ve been telling them for the last couple of weeks, I said don’t get too excited, we’re gonna meet you in the NCAA!” Kessler said.
No matter the outcome of the Sweet 16 matchup, one thing is for sure, fans will always continue to show their love for the “Pride of West Virginia”.
“There is nothing like a Mountaineer fan,” Baker said. “You have the loyalty, and it is in you to the very core. And it doesn’t really matter if you’re winning, if you’re losing, or what the outside world is saying. You are 100% on your team’s side.”
I also want to thank everyone who left comments on my Facebook post. I’d love to keep the conversation going!
What does being a Mountaineer mean to you?
Visit my Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/LaurieConwayWTRF