“I’ve liked sports my whole life. My dad used to take me to games when I was a baby,” said senior Jacob Harris, whose extreme school spirit and passion for sports is becoming known around campus. “If you go to any games you can find me. I’m the biggest fan, the guy going crazy waving flags and trying to get the crowd involved.”
Harris has dreamt of changing the culture here at Sonoma State since his freshman year, and now the fifth-year senior is in a position to do just that.
After becoming involved with the Sonoma State Athletic Association and Noma Nation, Harris is finally starting to see school spirit on the rise.
“Volleyball has had some big turnouts, and our basketball team should be very good,” said Harris. “There’s no reason why we can’t create a division one atmosphere in a division two program.”
Harris talks passionately about sports, and realizes their important role in growing school spirit.
“People want to see school spirit, and they want to be a part of something, but while they talk about wanting to go to games, they often don’t show up,” said Harris. “Create spirit through your friends. Anyone can get involved; whether its Greek life, club sports, or even educational clubs, those groups can go to games and help create an atmosphere.”
Harris doesn’t only watch from the sidelines. He plays with the Sonoma State Grapes of Wrath, the Ultimate Frisbee team on campus.
“It’s my favorite thing to do at Sonoma State,” said Harris, who has been playing with the team since his freshman year. “If you are not involved in an organization I recommend joining a sports club. It’s a great way to build a network with people that have similar interests.”
Harris has become a veteran player to the team, and is helping organize Grape Escape, an annual tournament where 24 teams from colleges across the nation travel to Sonoma State to compete. The two-day event will start Nov. 2 and end Nov. 3, and Harris encourages students interested in the sport to stop by the Intramural Fields to cheer on the team.
Harris spent his junior year in Denmark with the Danish Institute of Study Abroad, following his mother and older brother, who had also studied there.
“Danish culture is very easy to connect [oneself] with since a large amount of the population tend to be English speakers, and they are statistically the happiest people in the world,” said Harris, who called the experience the best decision he’s made so far in college. “A very welcoming, friendly society was a great choice for me and I won’t regret it.”
After graduation, Harris plans to go to grad school, and in the future hopes to work in the sports industry. Right now, however, Harris is focused on leaving a positive mark on Sonoma State by improving school spirit and turnout at sport events.
“Hopefully one day I can come back to Sonoma State and see a group of 200 people that are dedicated students that love sports,” said Harris. “A group that enjoys going to a sporting event, that wants to see the crowd more involved, and through that connection creating a stronger community.”