Every athlete and sports fan knows that the home advantage is a real thing. As an athlete, you have more fans, you’re more rested and you often have referees who side in favor of the home team if a dispute arises even though they are supposed to be unbiased.
So, what does Harding’s home advantage look like? What sets Harding apart?
Being located in the small town of Searcy,there is not a large variety of things to do here, which encourages a larger turnout to games and sporting events that some universities might not experience.
Another reason our home advantage is so strong is due to the fact that we have more than 365 athletes competing in 18 different sports year-round. Being an NCAA Division II university, we get the best of both worlds: our sporting programs are all competitive, while at the same time small enough to still be connected. If you don’t play a sport, chances are you know one athlete at the very least.
The university itself is a good size to be connected, having under 5,000 undergraduate students. Each sport has at least won a championship or Great American Conference (GAC) tournament championship; some sports have won multiple or back-to-back.
Last year as a whole was one of the best years in Harding sports history.
Football won the GAC championship and had a 13-1 record, men’s and women’s soccer won conference championships, volleyball won the regular season championship, men’s and women’s track won the GAC conference meet, women’s basketball won conference and regional tournament and also made it to the final four and softball won the regular season championship and made it to the super regionals.
This year won’t be the best ever, but we still are on track to have a great year of sports.
Men’s soccer won the regular season title and will host the conference tournament; volleyball is 20-3 and is second only to Arkansas Tech in the GAC conference; football has come back from a 0-3 start to go 4-3 now; men’s golf is having one of their best starts ever and is winning tournaments they never have before; men’s and women’s cross country have won several meets; and men’s tennis is having one of their best starts ever, coming out on top of the GAC, and regional rankings.
It’s only October. There are still so many more games to be played and so much time to go. But the fact is that time is going to fly.
Championships aren’t won in a day. Being at the top is a day-in and day-out process. Some days it is a battle. The time spent on the court or the field in practice matters.
All this to say: come out and support the teams, even if you don’t like sports or know anything about them. The Bisons may or may not make history this year, but that is beside the point. Whether it is Homecoming or not, we have a home advantage when the Harding community of students, teachers and staff all come out and support the hard work that athletes put forward on a daily basis, win or lose.