Screamin' Demons: tie-dyed, crazy for Deacs
December 14, 2006
Wake Forest University students who profess to be enthusiastic fans of Demon Deacon athletics come in a variety of stripes, but a large number of them come in black and gold tie-dyed swirls, body paint and Wake Forest-inspired hats.
The student-run group, Screamin’ Demons, has been around at Wake Forest for more than a decade, but in the past three years the group has more than doubled in size, counting about half of the entire undergraduate student body among its membership. Members of the group will be in the stands when Wake Forest plays Louisville Jan. 2 in the FedEx Orange Bowl in Miami.
Lauren Grove, a junior political science major from Maryland, serves as public relations chair for the Screamin’ Demons. The group originally started as a small faction of the Wake Forest student section, she said, but it has grown so much during the past several years that it took over the entire student section during the 2004-2005 season.
"It is truly amazing when you see all of these students in black and gold tie-dyed T-shirts and body paint, acting completely out of control,” Grove said. “We have some of the best fans in the country, let alone in the Atlantic Coast Conference, and Screamin’ Demons represent that in a very real way. Screamin’ Demons are a force to be reckoned with for any team that plans to tangle with the Deacs.”.
Screamin’ Demons was recently recognized by ESPN.com on its list of “Top 65 Reasons to Watch College Hoops.” It was the only student section featured on the list, which is on the Web at http://sports.espn.go.com/espn/page2/story?page=jones/061108.
The group supports all Wake Forest teams and is run by a five-person student executive board, who work with the university’s sports marketing department.
Students in the group sign up in August for a $30 fee which guarantees tickets to all home football and basketball games. The fee also includes a black and gold tie-dyed T-shirt, which students are required to wear to all games. Student seats for the games are in choice locations right next to the field or court.
The black and gold tie-dyed T-shirts are now worn by Wake Forest fans, including many alumni, to most varsity athletic competitions. The success of the tie-dyed shirts at Wake Forest has inspired other schools to produce licensed apparel tie-dyed in their school colors.
The student members of Screamin’ Demons sign a contract stating that they agree to attend all non-holiday home games with exceptions given in only a few instances. The students must check in at least 30 minutes prior to game time to be counted as present for the games.
New incentives offered to members include credit for attending other Wake Forest sporting events. The group features several games throughout the year and if members attend a certain number of those games they are entered into raffles for major prizes like a flat-screen television, iPods, Xbox game systems and a Visa gift card.