Just three years ago, the student section at basketball games consisted of a handful of guys who were dedicated supporters of the Boise State basketball team.
“There was a group of about 6 or 7 of us and we would show up to all the games … there was no one behind us. We got approached by Leon (Head Coach Leon Rice) our freshmen year, it was the same week he got hired … he met up with us and brought up this idea of The Corral and that’s when it was born,” said Max Forkner, senior and one of the leaders in the student
This year, you have to get to the game 45 minutes early to hope you can get a spot in the student section, or The Corral.
This past Saturday The Corral performed the “Flash Mob 2.0”—a synchronized dance that included the whole Corral executing perfectly-timed moves.
In short, The Corral’s momentum and growth as a student section is the highest it ever has been. But, good things never
Last year, The Corral took a bus down to the Mountain West tournament in Las Vegas to help bring some home-field advantage to the Bronco basketball team. But, there were some school violations broke, such as underrage drinking on a school-sanctioned trip; putting the existence of The Corral at risk.
But with a new approach and a motivated outlook, The Corral re-grouped and recovered.
“Last year was our defining year where we really came into our own and then we had the setback with Vegas,” Forkner said. “I’ve been impressed with us, as an organization, and as a student body coming together at games and bouncing back.”
The Coral leaders have been there since the start of their freshmen year, but now, they are on their way out with a majority of them set to graduate in the spring. But The Corral is doing some heavy legwork bringing in freshmen, teaching them the ways of The Corral.
“We are trying to open it up…we want everyone to be involved,” said senior Corral leader Steve Anderson.
The Coral leaders want to leave their mark on the school and the basketball program.
“I just like to think that the student section, we call ourselves the 6th man, that it’s like have another person out on the court. There’s nothing better than an electric, rowdy atmosphere…To rally a group around a common cause, it feels good,” said Forkner when asked about what a student section means to him.
The Corall has gained a reputation, not as the Las Vegas partiers, but as the student section that makes all visiting teams’ stay very difficult.
“You can ask any coach in NCAA basketball, the home court advantage definitely has a huge part in the game. That’s something that we’ve been working on; we want Taco Bell arena to be a hard place to come into and play,” added Forkner.
At one point in this year’s season, The Corral peaked at No. 16 overall in the running for the Naismith Student Section of the Year; a feat that would have been unthinkable three years ago.
With the Boise State basketball program on the rise and a dedicated fan base, The Corral’s potential is sky-high.