JSU'S HARDCORPS Named Best Pep Band in U.S.
Jamie M. Eubanks
JSU News Bureau
JACKSONVILLE -- February 13, 2001 -- They’re the hippest, hottest group in America…on the basketball court, that is. HARDCORPS, Jacksonville State University’s pep band, was recently named the best pep band in the U.S. by The Sporting News.
The reason? It’s simple. They’re overwhelmingly talented musicians who are accompanied by go-go dancers. These ladies dance to the tunes of the pep band beat.
And recently, they received a new member.
The catch is…she’s only six years old.
Savanna Lynch had been attending JSU basketball games with her mother, Sandy Lynch. Sandy serves as secretary for JSU’s Music Department. “She loved dancing with the other girls,” commented Sandy.
So, they took the next step. Instead of just having Savanna dance with the other girls, they had a uniform made to match the other Go-Go’s. And she fits right in.
Savanna rehearses with the Go-Go’s, but mainly picks up on the moves by watching. Her ultimate goal is to be able to learn the full routine the Go-Go’s do during half-time.
For her sixth birthday, Savanna had no problem deciding what kind of party she wanted--Disco.
She is also enrolled in Sacred Heart School. “I love taking naps,” comments Savanna. And to the future, she says, “I want to be a go-go dance teacher.”
The Go-Go’s dance coordinator is Jodie Milam. Milam has been with the group since its start in the Spring of 1997. “These girls do a great job,” states Milam. “They’re here to support the team, and that’s what they do.” Each member must audition in the fall to receive a partial scholarship.
Bryan McLemore, of Birmingham, also does much of the choreography for HARDCORPS and the Ballerinas, who perform with JSU’s Marching Southerners.
As for the music, Mark Fifer has selected a number of tunes from the 60’s and 70’s that would have anybody rocking in the stands. He has also chosen the best of the best musicians who auditioned in September for partial scholarships.
“We’re practically worshiped when we travel with the basketball team,” commented Fifer modestly. “Troy State even loved us.”
Fifer feels HARDCORPS is completing its ultimate task: to support JSU’s Gamecocks. One can hear comments coming from the stands, such as, “You’re beautiful, but you’re crazy,” after a bad call from one of the refs. And their endzone of the coliseum is definitely the liveliest and most fun.
“The Go-Go’s add a visible element to our music,” says Fifer. “We’ve had mascots before, like Batman and Austin Powers. Now, we have Baby Go-Go.”
Fifer and HARDCORPS are looking forward to adding a little funk to the Gamecocks’ game in the Sweet 16 at the end of this month.
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