As the spirit of Homecoming weekend returns to AU, campus will be busier than usual as students, families, faculty and alumni participate in the many traditions associated with Homecoming.
An integral part of the Homecoming weekend bustle will be the numerous sports teams in action.
On Saturday at the soccer field, the women’s soccer team will be taking on the Franklin women’s soccer team at 1 p.m. Following the finish of that game, the men’s soccer team will be facing the Franklin men’s soccer team at 3 p.m.
On the other side of campus, the football team will be attempting to ride their recent momentum against Rose-Hulman at Macholtz Stadium. The game will begin at 1:30 p.m.
Long-standing men’s soccer coach Scott Fridley is looking forward to Homecoming weekend, for the occasion serves as a welcoming space for many of his former players.
“It’s a great time to get alumni back on campus,” said Fridley. “They can rehash memories, see old teammates and expand on old stories. I think it’s important for the alumni to be part of the alma mater.”
Various breakfast receptions and alumni games will be happening during the course of Homecoming weekend, presenting opportunities for alumni to be part of the excitement.
Parents of current and past students will undoubtedly be packing the stands in support. As is with most programs, parents play a valuable part in the success of the teams.
“Parents always follow the teams,” said Fridley. “They play a really big role and they’re very supportive. They always provide food after the games, which is appreciated by the players.”
With alumni, parents and students sending their support from the stands, the atmosphere is set to be rousing.
Being part of the men’s soccer team for two years now, sophomore Aiden Lutterman has seen the atmosphere of Homecoming weekend games first-hand.
“You can tell something is different,” he said. “The fans are a little more energetic and it puts us in better spirits. We like having a lot of people on the field, and we like the extra pressure of showing up for the fans.”
While never lacking in support from fans during the other parts of the regular season, Homecoming serves as a reason for alumni and parents, who may not usually make it out to games, to gather and celebrate.
Cheering on the teams in action this coming weekend is certainly a priority, but perhaps the overarching theme of community is what Homecoming is all about. Homecoming weekend is full of events that encompass AU’s talented community and what is being done to grow the community on campus.
“It’s important to show appreciation for our school and our athletes,” said Lutterman. “It’s a great way to build community on our campus and is an all-around good time.”