UWG fans watched the Wolves return to their home field after a 666-day hiatus on Saturday night to play against the Morehouse College’s Maroon Tigers while enjoying an immersive game day experience. The stands filled in with eager spectators awaiting the chance to watch a game in person after nearly two years of staying indoors and upholding covid safety precautions. The number of vaccinated Carrollton residents has also steadily risen. Approximately over 33,000 people in September were fully vaccinated compared to March, when there were only a little over 5,000 vaccinated citizens.
Students from every corner of campus gathered together to participate in tailgating before the game at the “Wolves Zone.” Different clubs, fraternities, and other designated groups made appearances at the tailgate by reserving tables and preparing refreshments and other amenities for students to feel at home.
“I definitely felt welcomed,” student Mari Kimmey. “I feel as if there is a lot for students to do at the game even before and during it to be honest.” One organization in particular that participated was the Center for Adult Learners and Veterans. The organization was able to present up to four free tickets to every veteran and military student through their event, “Seats for Soldiers.” The campus shuttle service also played a role in making gameday possible with free rides to the stadium.
For some older fans in attendance, gameday was an emotional event in light of the 20th anniversary of 9/11. “As we reflect on the events of September 11, 2001, we will never forget the lives lost and the acts of bravery that define this day of remembrance,” said Dr. Brendan Kelly, the president of UWG. “Please join us at 8:46 am for a moment of silent reflection.” Another moment of dedication to 9/11 was placed before the Marching Wolves’ performance of the national anthem.
The first home game of the season was not only a special event for the football fans of the crowd, but it was also notable for music fans as the Marching Wolves performed their show opener for the first time after many grueling weeks of band camp and practice. As the band took to the center of the football field, the crowd began to cheer. The show consisted of renditions of the songs “Everything She Does is Magic” by the band, The Police and “Magic” by B.o.B. Finally, the band played the song “Long Train Running” by the Doobie Brothers. The song is a crowd favorite and is played every football game as a closing to each performance. “It was great. Actually, a lot of fun,” marching band member and student Zavier Breedlove said. “One of our better movements of the day.”
The next game day for the Wolves will be Saturday, September 18. They will face against Delta State University’s Statesmen. After winning two games straight, the Wolves will fight to keep their streak alive.
Photo credits: Josh Cato