With the all-time high attendance record broken last season, the Trojan football team showed its gratitude with the Student Night Practice and Scrimmage.
“It means a lot to our kids,” said Matt Moore, co-offensive coordinator and offensive line coach, when asked about the fans.
“It means a lot to us as a staff. We fill the student section on home games, and they’re loud, and they’re crazy. It makes it hard for people to come play here, and that’s what we want to do is just show them how much we appreciate them spending their time and their effort to come out here.”
The event was held Friday, March 31, in the Veterans Memorial Stadium and featured free pizza and drinks for the first 100 guests to arrive.
The program, designed to offer football fans a preview of the football team before next season, also gave the students an opportunity to join the team on the field and compete in football drills for exciting prizes, including a year’s supply of burgers and a trip with the Troy football team.
“It’s good for players because there’s a lot of people here,” Kenny Edenfield, offensive coordinator, said.
“It’s not just like a regular practice where there are not a lot of guys all the time. So, it’s good for them because the energy level’s up. They get to perform for other people and get to show our appreciation to them.”
“I think it just shows them they have a lot of love from students and they have fans that come to even stuff like this,” said Keely Stokes, a sophomore biology major from Dothan.
Bryan Slater, defensive tackle and sophomore social science major from Dothan, agreed that seeing the crowd makes the players feel better.
“It makes us feel like we’re actually working towards something,” Slater said.
“I think it was good,” Slater said when asked about the event. “I think having the students come interact and having everybody being able to feel like what we’re working on. I think it was good for the school and for the athletic association as well.”
The guests also enjoyed the event, as plenty of students participated in the drills and cheered on as the students competed for the prizes.
“I think the program was amazing,” said Kevin Joseph, a senior computer science major from Cross City, Florida. “I’m really excited about the next season of football. It’s going to be really amazing.”
“We had a great crowd turnout,” said Edenfield. “It’s Friday afternoon, sun’s out and it’s hard to get a lot of students in the stadium at 4 o’clock, but man, they showed out good. I think our guys competed hard. We have to do some things to get better, but we’re getting better every day.”