My Davidson | A Student Blog Davidson Sports: ’Cats Stats, Student Fan Section and Pep Band

a compilation of images of students in red jerseys and tee shirts at a basketball game

Four Davidson College students share how they've gotten involved with different aspects of college athletics including data analytics, pep band, and the fan section.


About the Authors

This blog post was co-written by Drew Dibble ’22, Morgan Martin ’23, Josh Fuhrman ’23, and Kavi Gandhi. 

Learn more about them below.


Morgan Martin ’23: More Than Just Numbers

a young Black woman wearing a blue top and smiling

Morgan Martin ’23 (she/her/hers) is an immersive computing major and film & media studies minor from Atlanta, Georgia. "I love to be creative, travel, laugh, watch sports, eat seafood and meet new people! A few of my current campus roles include Sports Videographer Intern, President of ’Cats Stats, Publicity Co-Liaison for the Service Eboard of Connor House, and a member of the ODK honor society."

While most kids grow up falling asleep to classic lullabies, when I was born (courtesy of my dad), my lullaby was the soundscape of sports. Since then, or at least until I finally understood what they entailed, my passion for sports has served as a vehicle, inspiring me to make a difference in the world.

However, lately, my focus has been on the present, revolving around making a difference within Davidson with ’Cats Stats. ’Cats Stats began in 2013, when students of the Class of 2014 expressed an interest in providing analytics for the men’s basketball team. They teamed up with Dr. Tim Chartier, one of ’Cats Stats’s current advisors and a close mentor of mine, to innovate analytics with the coaching staff during a trial period. As a result of their success, ’Cats Stats grew from supporting one Davidson team to eight, and we expanded from four members to 70 active members.

I stumbled upon ’Cats Stats after a conversation with a member of the Women in Computer Science Club. Instantly, the prospect of having an impact on our sports teams drew me to the research project, so I contacted Dr. Chartier. Shortly after, I started my ’Cats Stats journey as a Men’s Basketball Player Scouter during the height of the pandemic. Over time, my love for what ’Cats Stats embodied grew so deep that I continued my responsibilities and took on the Outreach Chair position while abroad in Budapest.

During my time overseas, I sometimes found myself homesick. Watching live sports, despite the six-hour time difference, occasionally calling home, or investing more time into ’Cats Stats served as my remedies. Eventually, after investing quite a bit of time into my outreach position, I discovered that to expand our outreach, we needed to re-organize. This realization led to a mutual agreement between Dr. Chartier and me to transition the nine-year research project into a student-run program.

Today at ’Cats Stats, we are more than just numbers. We are a cohort of passionate individuals who believe in the powerful impact that sports have on our communities, and therefore we provide support. Support in the ’Cats Stats community requires many tasks not limited to writing up 25-page scouting reports for teams, creating post-game recaps for our fans, and even collaborating with partners such as the Charlotte Minor League to develop a math program for kids.

Ultimately, our job entails supporting the sports community, but my responsibility consists of being the number one supporter for our ’Cats Stats members.

My position as president has allowed me to discover that all of our members have a small piece of brilliance in them. Therefore, I must go beyond my routine responsibilities to help the world see that by organizing lunches for our members to connect with those in the sports industry, creating a LinkedIn group so that they can network with our incredible alums and partners in the NFL, NBA, and MLB, and additionally, securing media passes to expose them to the sports industry or just taking the time to discuss their dreams over a meal. I want the Davidson world to know how amazing our members are.

Kavi Gandhi ’25: Pep Band for Sports Events

a young man wearing a polo and shorts smiles

Kavi Gandhi ’25 (he/him/his) is an intended biology major and Hispanic studies minor from West Chester, Pennsylvania. "I’m a first-year student from outside of Philadelphia, PA. On campus, I’m involved with a number of music groups (including Pep Band!) and am Events Chair for the South Asian Student Association, a tour guide, and a member of the Student Initiative for Academic Diversity."

Back in August, the first week of my Davidson career was capped off with the hustling and bustling Student Activities Fair. With dozens and dozens of clubs and e-boards (executive boards) trying to recruit you for their organizations, it was just chaotic enough for me to not even realize that Davidson had a Pep Band. It was not until I heard my friend, who attends the University of Pittsburgh, rave about the Pitt Pep Band that I decided to seek out whether Davidson had one, too. I officially joined the Pep Band at a lightly-attended Saturday morning football game. None of my friends had decided to wake up that early to cheer on the ‘Cats, so I approached the band, asked if they needed another percussionist, and they eagerly thrust a woodblock into my hands.

Since then, it has been seven months filled with fight songs, cheers, chirps, dances, and of course dancing to Sandstorm and Sweet Caroline. Under the pep-filled leadership of co-presidents Christian Peterson ’23 and Zach Neville ’23 (HUGE shout out to them), Pep has not only played fun tunes, but also cheered our hearts out at football games and men’s and women’s basketball games, including the men’s Atlantic 10 Tournament in our nation’s capital and the first round of men’s March Madness in Greenville, South Carolina. Out of the football and men’s basketball games that the band played at, there was not a single home loss, and we like to take some credit for that.

For me, playing in Pep Band gave me an exciting way to support our athletic teams and go all out with school spirit in a way that I missed out on in my last year and a half of high school due to COVID. It has also been a fantastic way to meet people I would’ve never known otherwise, and there have been so many incredible memories. Of course I’ll never forget our trip to March Madness, sitting courtside at the nation’s biggest college basketball stage and entirely losing my voice within the first 10 minutes of the first half. I think I still feel a twinge of regret from not putting a cowbell in President Quillen’s hands every time she visited Section 30 at basketball games, but maybe that’s for another year. All of the other fun moments from Pep certainly outweigh that one missed opportunity. And always, Go ‘Cats!

Josh Fuhrman ’23: Experience in Davidson Roar

a young white man with brown hair smiling and wearing a pink shirt

Josh Fuhrman ’23 (he/him/his) is a political science major and history minor from Statesville, North Carolina. "I am a junior at Davidson. Some of my campus involvements are Men’s Club Soccer, Davidson Roar, Kappa Sigma Fraternity, and Davidson Dems.

At a smaller school like Davidson, it is often difficult to replicate the loud atmospheres that larger schools create at sporting events. Last season, Belk Arena was practically silent during home games, with only small batches of fans permitted to attend. This season, however, the fans were back with mandatory vaccination to enter and masking once you were inside. Fans returning compelled a group of students and myself to form a Davidson student section to bring back the passion for Davidson sports. As Davidson played a successful season on our way to the NCAA tournament for the first time since 2018, the Roar was cheering them on throughout the year.

Our interest in starting a Davidson student section originated at men’s soccer games. A few of us would research the opposition team and compile a “chirp sheet” that had roasts designed to get the opposing team off their game. As basketball season rolled around into the fall, we thought it would be fun to bring our enthusiasm to basketball games. After a series of meetings with our team and the marketing staff, we decided on a set of themes for the section in-game and tactics we would use to create a loud atmosphere.

Overall, the men’s team was highly successful in Belk Arena, losing only one home game en route to the A10 regular season title. There were two games that stood out in the first season of the Davidson Roar: the home victory against Saint Louis and the narrow defeat in Greenville against Michigan State. Against Saint Louis, it coincided with the selection day for eating houses that had students amped up for the afternoon game. The ‘Cats were dominant throughout, and the crowd was buzzing throughout. It was a valuable experience to see the planning we had done come to fruition, with a tense atmosphere that had a role in the outcome of the game. Likewise, in Greenville for the opening round in the NCAA tournament, we had a lot of Davidson students come to the game despite it being hours away, and they created a loud atmosphere. Despite the close loss, it felt like a strong pinnacle to the debut of the Davidson Roar, and I am excited to see the next steps it takes next year. Some of our plans include having rowdy student sections at more sporting events and having more student involvement in our decision making next year.

Drew Dibble ’22: From the Court to the Analytics

a young white man smiling wearing a blue collared shirt

Drew Dibble ’22 (he/him/his) is a computer science major and mathematics minor from Nashville, Tennessee. "At Davidson, I play on the men’s basketball team and am involved with ‘Cats Stats."

I’m a senior computer science major and basketball player here at Davidson. I’m also a member of ’Cats Stats, a sports analytics club on campus. As a member of ’Cats Stats, I lead a group focused on analyzing the defensive performance of our men’s basketball team. Within this group, we chart shots opponents take and which player on our team contests each shot. Then, we use our collected data to identify strengths and weaknesses of our team’s defense.

However, I wasn’t always a player on the basketball team; I began my involvement with the basketball team as a team manager my freshman year. While serving as a team manager, I became friends with two fellow managers on the basketball team who were senior leaders in ’Cats Stats. They encouraged me to join the club and assured me that I could balance the time commitment of trying to walk onto the basketball team while being involved with ’Cats Stats.

Of course, their advice turned out to be true. In fact, as a player on the team, I have had a unique perspective in that I get to see the coaches actually using our stats in preparation for upcoming games, which makes the work even more rewarding. My fondest memories of my involvement in ’Cats Stats have come when a coach uses our exact statistics during a pregame film session, showing that our work is making a difference. I would highly recommend ’Cats Stats to any current or future Davidson students!

Published

  • April 8, 2022

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