Stingers capture the crowd as they win first game of the season
The morning of the Stingers football home opener at the Concordia Stadium wasn’t very promising. Grey rain clouds unleashed their contents on the brave souls who showed up to cheer on the Stingers football team. Despite the weather, spirits were still high.
I’m a third-year student in communications and journalism, and a member of the Institute for Co-operative Education. Last week I began a three-month work term as a communications advisor with University Communications Services. My assignment — provide communications support for our athletics and recreation programs. The home opener was my first Stingers game in this new role.
My friend Faye Khatchadourian, a fourth-year student in urban planning, and I found refuge under a tempo next to the hot dog stand. The heat from the grill helped ease the chill from the cold wind. Fans walked by holding cardboard over their heads. Meanwhile the players stretched and warmed up on the field, unaffected by the rain.
Stingers from other teams also showed up to watch the game. The varsity soccer, hockey and rugby teams were particularly well represented. “It’s great to see all Concordia athletes supporting each other,” said Faye.
What started out as a low hum in the crowd evolved into palpable anticipation as kick-off time approached. The cooks even broke out in a synchronized dancing jig. Despite the weather, by the time the army of Stingers tore onto the field, just over 2,000 fans braved the rain to come cheer for Concordia.
Just before the start of the game, we migrated from our refuge under the tempo to the stands. It was hard to see over the sea of umbrellas but we finally found a clear view of the field.
The weather eventually cleared and the sun made its appearance. Every point scored by a Stinger resulted in a roar from the crowd. The lineup of Stingers on the opposite side of the field matched the fans’ cheers.
The Stingers won by a comfortable 25-15 margin against the Bishop’s Gaiters. A great way to begin the new season.
Rookie running back Gunner Tatum put in a strong showing for his new team, rushing for 192 yards and a touchdown.
“I’d say as a team and a staff that we’re pleased but not satisfied,” said head coach Mickey Donovan of his Stingers performance. “There are a lot of things we need to do better. But we controlled the line of scrimmage. The offensive line did an incredible job. We got big plays when we needed them. The defence also gave us big plays when we needed them.”
Personally, I had a great time at the game. I was swept up by the energy of the crowd and the players on the field. The kick-off of a whole new season for the football team signalled a fresh start for me, too, and I’m looking forward to catching more action from all the Stingers teams.
The Stingers will be playing the McGill Redmen at Percival Molson Stadium (475 Pine Ave W.) on Friday Sept. 12 at 7 p.m.
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