Argos' Home Debut A Success: On & Off The Field
More history was made Saturday night by the fledgling UWF football program, when the Argonauts played their first-ever home game at Fetterman Field against the Missouri S&T Miners.
We watched an historic football game Saturday! @goargos! #UWF #uwffootball #goargos A video posted by WUWF Public Media (@wuwf) on Sep 12, 2016 at 12:18pm PDT
The greenspace in front of the stadium was a tent city, with fans setting up at midday and walking about, playing corn hole, throwing around footballs, and just visiting.
Josh Schutts had the grill fired up for about a half-dozen in his party. For Schutts, who is with UWF’s University College, this brings back some memories.
“I was fortunate, I went to a college that had football when I was an undergrad, and it was a tremendous amount of spirit,” said Schutts. “I think it’s great that the Argos are going to share in that.”
Also enjoying the tailgating experience was Stacy Norwood, UWF Class of 2009.
“We’re just so excited to have a college football team here in Pensacola,” Norwood said. “It was a long time coming; it’s going to be great for Pensacola and great for UWF.”
The gates opened at 4:00 p.m. to a Fetterman Field that had been transformed from a baseball diamond to a football field in the less than 48 hours between the end of the Pensacola Blue Wahoos playoff game to the UWF-Missouri S&T matchup.
Since the Blue Wahoos were eliminated from the Southern League playoffs by the Mississippi Braves Saturday night, head groundskeeper Ray Sayre said it’s now a matter of completing the transformation for the rest of the football season.
“We will sod over all the dirt areas, so that most likely will happen the week of [September] 19, Sayre said. “We’ll basically have to remove about two inches of the clay; bring in a thicker-cut sod so it will be stable as quickly as possible for that October 1 game [vs. Florida Tech}.”
“It’s exciting for the Gulf South Conference, and I know it’s exciting for Pensacola,” said GSC Commissioner Matt Wilson, who was among the more than 6,200 people packing the stadium.
“The Gulf South Conference is the strongest conference in Division-II – hands down, top-to-bottom we’re the best,” Wilson said. “West Florida’s just going to add to that depth.”
At just before 6:00 p.m. when the Argos, in all blue with white trim, came through the inflatable tunnel onto the field, Fetterman Field was rocking. Standing on the Argonaut logo at the center of the field were the game officials, team captains, and UWF President Judy Bense, who presided over the coin toss.
The Argos went to 2-0 with the 45-28 win over Missouri S&T. The home opener’s theme was “The Voyage Starts Now.” That voyage continues next week, when UWF travels to Chowan University in Murfreesboro, North Carolina.