Screamin' Demons: tie-dyed, crazy for Deacs
December 17, 2007
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 several years the group has more than doubled in size, counting more than half of the entire undergraduate student body among its membership. Members of the group will be in the stands when Wake Forest plays the University of Connecticut Dec. 29 in the Meineke Car Care Bowl in Charlotte.
Tiffany Ingold, a senior health and exercise science major from Rockwell 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 in recent years that by the 2004-2005 season it took over the entire student section.
“It is really incredible to see students come together like the Screamin’ Demons do every game in tie-dye shirts, bodies painted black and gold, and waving pompoms in support of their classmates,” Ingold said. “No longer are the Screamin’ Demons the most underrated fan section in the country. We have some of the best fans in sports and we are a force to be reckoned with for any team that tries to run with the Deacs.”
ESPN.com recognized Screamin’ Demons in its 2006 list of “Top 65 Reasons to Watch College Hoops.” It was the only student cheering 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, which works with the university’s sports marketing department.
Students in the group sign up in August for a $15 fee which guarantees tickets to all home football games and includes a student-designed black and gold T-shirt, which they are required to wear to all games. A second sign-up for basketball happens in late fall and a $15 fee guarantees tickets to all home basketball games and includes a black and gold tie-dyed T-shirt. Student seats for all 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.
Screamin’ Demons works with Wake Forest Sports Marketing to offer students incentives for attending other Wake Forest sporting events, and members who attend a certain number of those games are entered into raffles for prizes like signed Wake Forest sports memorabilia and gift cards.