UNH Fans Show Spirit Despite Loss

Erin Ennis

Welcome to football season! On Sat. Sept. 19, hordes of students, faculty, staff, family, and alumni of the University of New Haven gathered for tailgating and socializing before the first home game of the 2009-2010 Chargers season. Hundreds of people pushed into the bleachers and, adorned with the brightest blue and gold UNH gear, began to cheer on our football team.

UNH students show their school spirit at last Saturday's home football game!
UNH students show their school spirit at last Saturday's home football game!

The game was energetic from the beginning to the end.  The UNH Chargers opened strong with an incredible catch on the sideline by number 4, wide receiver Demetrius Washington-Ellison. Washington-Ellison was an asset to many big yardage movements throughout the game and was easily recognizable on the field.

Number 9, Josh Smart, was also a huge asset to the team during the game against the Bentley Falcons. Smart had many carries down field on special teams and was a key figure in a tackle that caused the first safety of the season!  Wide receiver Sharieff Hall led the game in yards, tacking on his first home touchdown from 9 yards out and kicker Michael Herrara put up two field goals and an extra point.

Yes, the game ended with the Bentley Falcons overcoming the Chargers 23 to 15, but this statistic was easily lost amongst the crowd of never yielding, always faithful, Charger fans. From beginning to end, the plays of our defense and offense were met with cheers and encouragement straight from the bleachers. I was surprised not only by the amount of people in attendance at the game, but the amount of true sportsmanship and pride that surrounded me. Not only were our fans respectful of the Bentley team, they sprang into rhythms of “Let’s Go Defense” even in the last two minutes of the game. Unlike in pro football games, where you watch the bleachers empty out as the fourth quarter moves into the last minutes, the UNH fans stayed in their seats and only stood to offer support to the players. Not once did our school spirit dwindle! People came to the game in jerseys, blue and gold shirts, face paint, and UNH inspired body paint. I hope the players of the UNH Chargers realize just how much their schoolmates support them in this year’s season.

Special congratulations from The Charger Bulletin go out to the halftime performers as well. The cheerleaders performed an entertaining routine, Emanon danced, and the Marching Band and Colorguard performed for the first time in our home stadium. While many got up to get some refershments (did I mention that they had Ritas?) most of us stayed to watch the performances. The halftime show kept the crowd entertained and only added to the amazing school spirit that was experienced throughout the game.

You may be wondering: where is the mention of our quarterback, Ryan Osiecki? To the students, staff, family, and alumni present at the game: cut the boy some slack. As a die-hard football fan I can say this: he has real talent. Turnovers aside, our quarterback is learning very quickly how to handle pressure in the pocket and to make big on small plays. Considering he spent a lot of the second half of the game being hit, I give him immense credit for keeping control of the ball and his wits! With some added practice in protection for our offensive line, I can only imagine how the team will play in the homecoming game against Stonehill. Make sure to come out to watch! Join in the school spirit and support our growing UNH Chargers! The Blueout Blowout Tailgate Zone will be hosted by clubs and organizations too!