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This week’s cheap seats are not exactly cheap, as I found myself in a very familiar stadium over the weekend.
Last Saturday, New Albany fans had their first look at this year’s football team, and they were not disappointed. Taking in the atmosphere of Vaught-Hemmingway Stadium, the Bulldogs showed a lot of energy throughout their scrimmage, downing the Golden Wave and putting a smile on the face of this Columbus High alum, as Tupelo is one of my alma mater’s big rivals.
I couldn’t help but feel excited for all of the kids who had the rare opportunity to play on the field of not just any SEC school, but the one I graduated from.
It’s great that both Ole Miss and State give the athletes this opportunity to play jamboree games at their stadiums and get a taste of what it’s like to play in that kind of atmosphere (State hosted a similar scrimmage last Saturday). Tyler Basil probably put it best saying that “the only thing that could have made it better was if the stadium was packed out.”
I’ve had many great memories in Vaught-Hemmingway myself, marching in the “Pride of the South” band my junior year and watching great games, like that 2008 Egg Bowl State fans won’t talk about. I still get chills thinking about the Georgia game from 2006, when marching on the field, the crowd was insane during our pregame performance of “From Dixie With Love.”
What the Bulldogs accomplished and experienced last weekend with their fans is something they will soon not forget. I know it was just as exciting for me, as this made my list of coolest experiences I’ve had since starting at the Gazette.
All this to say that happiness has returned to my life in the form of football.
Friday nights now have a meaning again. For the next three months, we’ll all travel to various stadiums throughout the area, watch the band, cheer on the team and take in the excitement of high school football. With the talent returning for New Albany, there are high hopes of another playoff berth and possibly more.
But not all the fun is being had at New Albany. Union County is revving up for its second season, and fans are sure to be excited to see how much they have improved from last year, as they now work under former New Albany assistant Scott Duley.
So get ready for another exciting football season, and if you’re impatient like me and need to kill a little time before kickoff, check out my blog to get a glimpse of my experiences at Vaught-Hemmingway.