Football beats Central Arkansas in season opener

Ashton Nix, Sports Writer

The Samford football team opened the 2015 season with a 45-16 win over the Central Arkansas Bears Thursday night at Seibert Stadium.

However, as much excitement as there was about the game, something even more exhilarating was going on at the west side of Seibert Stadium.310

Martin Newton, athletic director, announced earlier this year that student seating would be moved back behind the home bench for the 2015 season.

With the new location of the student section came an outpouring of student support, all giving positive reviews on the change.

“I couldn’t be happier. I love being on the home side near the cheerleaders and near the home fans,” junior marketing major Grace Bowes said.

“It definitely helps a lot being near the players and seeing them get hyped up after a really good play. It gets the crowd hyped up too.”

Not only were the fans excited about the move, but the football players themselves were also very pleased with the relocation of the student section.

“It’s great. It’s really nice, because when everyone was on the other side it didn’t really do anything for us,” redshirt sophomore marine science major tight end, Tyler Small said.

“It’s nice to have you guys right behind us screaming our names. We couldn’t hear you when you were all the way across the field.”

“I loved it. We’re able to interact with the fans when we’re on the sideline,” junior quarterback Alex Matthews said.

“I feel like [the students] feel connected to the game and we feel their connection with the game too, which is pretty cool.”

On top of this link with the game, the fans and players both agree that the crowd will likely have more of an influence on the outcome of games from the west side of the stadium.

“It’s a lot better feel when the students are right behind you,” Matthews said. “You can hear them and everything’s a lot more enthusiastic. On third downs you can hear the crowd. They’re getting loud. They’re getting rowdy. It’s a great feeling.”

“These are packed out stands,” junior journalism and mass communications major Carson Kennedy said.

“We’re loving it and you can tell that the players have a little swagger to them and that they’re pumped up to be here and excited to play. It’s going to make a big difference to the team and they’re going to be able to ball out.”

The Bulldogs play again Saturday, Sept. 12, when they will host the rattlers of Florida A&M. The game is scheduled for a 2 p.m. kickoff from Seibert Stadium.

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