WINNIPEG – They bring big noise, big cheers and big passion.
All with a furry flair.
“The big horns are the key aspect of the costume,” said Darren Sancartier.
So it’s no surprise they’re called the Big Horns, a group of student super-fans who sit front and centre to cheer on the Manitoba Bisons at every home game.
“It means a lot,” said men’s basketball guard Stephan Walton. “To know somebody is behind you, the school is behind you, it really gets you going.”
The Big Horns started two years ago with just a handful of supporters.
“It was just an idea between myself and a few others to generate some more spirit on campus,” said Kevin Oliver, one of the original members. “To give students a way to build community, build friendships.”
Today, the herd stands roughly 50 strong. Every recruit, or Little Horn as they’re known, is adopted by a current Big Horn.
“They make sure they know the ins and outs, what’s going on,” said Oliver. “They make sure they’re inviting their Little Horn to events.”
But it’s more than just being a fan. The Bisons boosters also help out with campus charities while running their own events.
“You are building skills that are needed for employment opportunities,” said Oliver. “You’re building connections, networking with people.”
A little camaraderie to go with the Big Horn’s customs and costumes.