LET'S GO BEARCATS: The story behind the cheer
"LETS GO BEARCATS!" Can be heard at any hour of the day in and around 900 State Street. There are two usual suspects belting their Bearcat pride, Ernie Samora (‘24 )and Douglas Li (‘24). The pair have become a two man cultural movement at Willamette University by screaming “let’s go bearcats!” at prospective students and current students alike. In a time when most of us are struggling to align with Willamette culture after a year of strict lockdown, Samora and Li offer an energetic outlook on being a Bearcat.
The origins of the “let’s go bearcats” cry is disputed even between its forefathers. Samora claims, “I started doing it during the football season.” While Li said, “We started screaming let’s go bearcats at [tennis] practice.” Samora even adheres to a longer cheer, “We know the score we don’t care, let’s go bearcats.” This version exhibits an unconditional Bearcat pride; one that is not dependent on winning games but on being a Bearcat.
Though divided on origin stories the two share the same vision for their shouts. Li claimed, “I want to see more bearcat spirit.” Samora said,“I’m just trying to start a campus culture.” He has the goal of making Willamette “a little bit more of a happy place to be” The two of them welcome a return shout and celebrate it. “Me and Doug have been saying it all the time and every once in a while someone will say it back to us and every time they do it’s super hype,” said Samora. So if you hear ‘let’s go bearcats’ off in the distance go ahead and howl back.