Voices were chanting to The White Stripes’ “Seven Nation Army.” Students were bellowing “Glory, Glory” and, come fourth quarter, four fingers went up on everyone’s hands.
If you think this is Sanford Stadium on a Saturday, guess again. While they were in Sanford, these fans did not come to see the Bulldogs play. Instead, they came to witness their roommates, boyfriends and daughters compete for an IM football championship under the lights of one of college football’s largest venues.
For many, Thursday night was a chance to cheer on friends and loved ones after their hard work brought them to Sanford Stadium to play for the ultimate intramural football bragging rights.
Despite the chilly weather, the few dozen fans made the most of the evening, giving the games an authentic atmosphere with cheers and homemade signs.
Student Abby Cabballero sported one such sign, using it to cheer her boyfriend Hayden Salyer and his team, Grown Man Football, to a victory in the B vs. C League championship.
“We are so proud,” said Cabballero, who was at the game with Salyer’s family. “It was a dream for him.”
Close friends and relatives weren’t the only ones present at Sanford. Evan Bagwell of Team Ashley Casey said in addition to his parents coming from South Carolina to watch him, 150 students RSVP’d to come to the game through the team’s Facebook group message.
The popularity of the IM championships seems to only be growing. Recreational Sports public relations coordinator Christina Reynolds said there was a noticeable difference in the crowd compared to last year.
“I feel like we had more fans and more organized fans, showing up with signs,” Reynolds said.
The participation from the stand didn’t go unnoticed by the players themselves.
“The support helped,” said Bagwell after his team’s victory. “[The fans] being loud, it was awesome.”