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Staff Picks: Penn State’s Top Student Section

There is just one thing Penn State students take seriously: their education sports. Whether that’s selling out tickets in Beaver Stadium, filling Bryce Jordan Center, or packing Rec Hall, Penn Staters love their Nittany Lion athletics.

However, with each sport comes a different student section. For football, there’s Nittanyville; for basketball, the Legion of Blue; for volleyball, he wRECking Crew; and so on and so forth. Although each section is comprised of students, the experiences couldn’t be any different.

To put that into perspective, a handful of our staffers offered up their picks for Penn State’s top student section.

Ríco Gore: Park Avenue Army

I have been to a couple of the student sections, including hockey, basketball, football, and soccer. So far, soccer has been my favorite. Out of those sports, soccer isn’t even my favorite to watch, but the Park Avenue Army makes it the best.

The chants can sometimes be a little more in-depth, but once you learn the basics, it is really a great time. Also, I think my favorite part is how personal they get with the other team. It might be because the Park Avenue Army is able to get closer to the action than other student sections, or perhaps the group is just more dedicated. Fans do their research on the other team to find out about their girlfriends/boyfriends, learn their parents’ names, and discover any other insight that could be used for ridicule. Needless to say, if you are a visiting player coming to Jeffery Field, you should really make your social media accounts private.

Otis Lyons | Onward State

Overall, it just feels like you can really affect the other team when you are a part of the Park Avenue Army. Being that the army is smaller than other student sections, you can really get to know the other student fans. So, unless one of the other student sections I attend blows me away, I will continue to stan the Park Avenue Army.

Tobey Prime: The Roar Zone

As an avid sports fan, I have been to every Penn State sporting event besides wrestling (Editor’s note: Shame.). I enjoyed most of my experiences, but The Roar Zone is just on another planet.

For starters, the name choice should make this group No. 1 alone, but I’ll give some other reasons. If you want to go as a regular fan, Pegula is set up in a way that no matter where you sit, you will have a great view of the action. The band is even right in the center of the section, so you get to boogie down with some of our finest members of the Blue Band. Lastly, despite it being ice hockey, it really isn’t as cold as you think in there.

If you want to go as a crazy, nutty fan, The Roar Zone is the place for you. Those folks have the greatest chant in the world that comes after a Nittany Lions goal. It follows the same flow of ‘Hey Baby, Will You Be My Girl,’ but they instead say, “Hey (goalie name), I wanna knoooowwwwww, why you suck so bad.” Pure genius. Along with other chants, The Roar Zone puts up so many funny, creative, and unique signs on the glass in front of the section. Plus, if you want to slap some glass to fire up the team, no one will stop you.

If I were an opposing player coming to Pegula, especially a goalie, I’d probably quit because of the future nightmares that The Roar Zone would cause. It’s Hockey Valley, folks.

Connor Krause: Nittanyville

Although the 22,000-seat segment in Beaver Stadium towers in size among other Penn State student sections, what other sport attracts the level of fandom needed to fill the stands to max capacity hours before kickoff? 

Moreover, how many student sections hold one of the nation’s most unique traditions involving weekly campouts to score front row seats ahead of every home matchup?

The uniqueness of Penn State football’s student section is often something Nittany Lion fans take for granted, but its role in providing one of the most hostile home environments in college football makes Beaver Stadium a bucket list destination for any sports fanatic. 

Hi, Connor.

Since 2005, ESPN’s Kirk Herbstreit has labeled Penn State as holding the best student section in college football, with many more prominent media voices following suit in recent memory, including Chris Fowler, Marty Smith, and Holly Rowe. In 2019, Nittanyville received the Live Más Student Section of the Year award by ESPN for their efforts in leading the Nittany Lions to an undefeated homestand throughout the campaign. 

As far as student section resumés go, the south endzone at Beaver Stadium is surely hard to beat — not only at Penn State but among any major athletic program across the country.

Will Pegler: Legion Of Blue

The Legion of Blue deserves a ton of respect. First of all, there was a record number of student ticket sales ahead of Micah Shrewsberry’s first season in Happy Valley. That is an awesome way to come out and support a coach who’s trying to build a culture of winning basketball.

Meanwhile, the student section has managed to root on this team through thick and thin, including what would’ve been a run to the 2020 NCAA Tournament had it not been canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Seriously, it’s pretty tough to stay such a strong fan of a team that literally can never catch a break.

The Legion of Blue’s fans also manage to come out and support the Lady Lions, who are battling their way to a 9-9 overall record at the moment.

The BJC is hardly the perfect venue for college basketball, but the Legion of Blue can put together some pretty exciting environments for big games.

Matt DiSanto: wRECking Crew

Lord knows I love Penn State volleyball. I’d never watched a match before joining Penn State’s pep band, but once I did, the raucous student section filling Rec Hall with juice immediately caught my eye.

The wRECking Crew might not be the flashiest student section, but I’ll tell you what: Those folks know how to win…or at least watch Penn State win. Penn State women’s volleyball has won seven national titles since 1999. Think that’s a coincidence? Absolutely not.

The wRECking Crew comes with the hilarious set of signs and chants you’d probably expect from a top-tier student section, but that’s not what I’m so keen on. Instead, I credit the group for helping me fall in love with a sport I’d never expected to enjoy.

Do you have a favorite Penn State student section? Let us know in the comments below!

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