COLUMBIA — It was not the game that got the opposing coach on his feet yelling during the Rock Bridge girls soccer sectional game on Tuesday. It was the Bruins fans.
The "Super Fans," as they like to call themselves, constitute a group of 25 to 30 fans, said Rock Bridge girls soccer assistant and boys head coach Kyle Austin. The group, which started during the boys season in the fall, makes it to as many games as it can, Austin said.
at Rock Bridge (16-7-1)
WHEN: 3 p.m.
WHERE: Rock Bridge High School
When the Rock Bridge girls play their Class 3 quarterfinal game at 3 p.m. Saturday against Glendale High School, the Super Fans plan on attending.
Super Fan Ryan Gibbons was in the crowd during Tuesday's game. In fact, he has only missed one of the girls home games this spring because of a conflict with his youth group.
“We were really big over the boys season," Gibbons said. "Like we would dress up as some of the guys, and so we thought we would carry that over to the girls. We couldn’t really dress up as the girls, so we made shirts that represent a player.”
About six or seven boys wore shirts with the girls’ names on them followed by the word "smash." Smash represents the aggressiveness of the players, Gibbons said.
Super Fan Matt Kelly leads the cheer known as the roller coaster. He decided to try the "crowd favorite" at a Rock Bridge basketball game after he saw it done poorly at a friend’s high school. Other Bruins fans even request it.
“Basically I say, ‘Is everyone ready for the roller coaster?’” Kelly said. “And they put down the little safety belt thing, and then we do the tick, tick, tick like you are going up a roller coaster. And then, everywhere I point, the crowd points. Then we are all just yelling and going crazy.”
The Super Fans pride themselves in keeping their cheers appropriate, but occasionally they have to step in to keep fans in line.
“There was this girl (on the opposing team) who had short brown hair, and some of the fans in our group were calling her Justin Bieber, and we shut him down really fast,” Gibbons said. “Everyone just got on them and told them that that wasn’t really nice at all.”
No one stopped the Super Fans on Tuesday, though, as Rock Bridge defeated Camdenton High School 4-1. Every time the opposing goalkeeper had the ball, the Super Fans started counting.
“There is a rule where the goalie is only supposed to hold the ball for seven seconds,” Gibbons said. “A lot of the time they hold it for a lot more than seven seconds, which is against the rules. So it is just something that the refs don’t really enforce.”
Camdenton’s coach was furious.
Rock Bridge forward Carmen Boessen was shocked by the coach’s reaction.
“I just remember they were yelling, counting, doing the thing they always do,” Boessen said. "Then, all of sudden, because I was standing by the coach on that side of the field, he was just like, ‘Real classy.’ I was just in awe that it upset him so much.”
Like Boessen, Rock Bridge defender Brett Fuller was surprised by the coach’s reaction and is looking forward to the home game Saturday with the Super Fans in attendance.
“I mean everyone wants to win (the game), but it’s on our home turf, and we’ve got to protect that,” Fuller said. “It just makes us want to win that much more.”