USF alumns and fraternity brothers Ty DeBique, Ed Narain and Cedric McCray savored the opportunity to reunite while supporting their Bulls.
BY DEXTER MCCREE, Feature Writer
TAMPA – Tampa Bay lives for the South Florida Bulls. Last Saturday, the University of South Florida at Raymond James Stadium was packed full of fans as the USF Bulls faced the historic University of Florida Gators.
UF began its football program in 1906. That’s more than a century of football experience with national championships, while USF is a fledgling program in its 25th year of the gridiron tradition, playing its inaugural season in 1997.
Although USF is an up-and-coming program, the game offers opportunities for fellowship and enjoyment on Saturday afternoon. It is a welcomed outing considering COVID-19 brought about a flagrant foul to an entire country.
Fans were relegated to their home locker rooms to remain for more than a year. For the Bulls, the competition against the Gators would not have the most favorable outcome. However, it certainly beats staying at home and not having football games to watch for the fans.
The return of college football also provides an avenue for alumni and colleagues to fellowship. USF alumnus and fraternity brothers Ty DeBique, Ed Narain and Cedric McCray savored the opportunity to reunite while supporting their Bulls.
“It was great seeing friends who I haven’t seen in over a year. The atmosphere of college football rejuvenates the spirit of fellowship and fraternizing. Ty and Ced are two good brothers, and we had a great time catching up at the game,” said Ed Narain, vice president, External Affairs – AT&T.
DeBique is managing director of Truist Wealth, and McCray is the community redevelopment manager for the City of Tampa. The three formed a bond joining Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity in 1996 at USF.
For the announced attendance of 66,646, there was plenty for the South Florida hopefuls to be dismayed. Perhaps given up 35 points in the first half was a little disheartening. Maybe allowing multiple long plays and missed tackles felt overwhelming. Then the moment to cheer arrived. USF got on the scoreboard with a 25-yard field goal from Spencer Shrader.
If Saturday’s outcome was the result of overmatch traditions, then the upcoming week may prove to be more favorable for the South Florida Bulls. The Florida A & M University Rattlers from Tallahassee will face South Florida.
FAMU is also rich in history and tradition. The Tampa Bay area is accustomed to seeing Florida A & M in the Florida Classic versus Bethune-Cookman University, which was played in the Tampa stadium for many years.
The locals are looking forward to FAMU’s famous Marching 100 as they perform their world-renowned moves. The USF Bulls will counter with the Herd of Thunder Marching Band, undoubtedly presenting a different flavor than the Rattler high-steppers.
College football is back, and the fun of Saturday afternoon has resumed. The Bulls did outscore the Gators 17-7 in the second half. A small victory for an up-and-coming program. Sometimes you win, and sometimes you lose, but it will always be a memorable experience.