ST. PETERSBURG — There is something mystical about the air on a college campus. A breeze feels somewhat cooler and fresher than normal. Music has a crispier sound, and laughter with strangers is as genuine as with friends.
The atmosphere on a college campus is epic in comparison to high school. More so, the excitement of college athletics accelerates the adrenaline flowing through the veins of the first time college student at a sporting event.
In America, baseball is the said to be the country’s favorite past time. You know the Chevy commercial: “Baseball, hot dogs, apple pie and Chevrolet.” But on this night, college football is the crowd pleaser.
The University of South Florida Bulls opened their football season two weeks ago against Elon University with a 34-14 victory in front of an announced 31,000 fans at Raymond James Stadium. For USF freshmen Joshua Williams, it was his first experience as a college student witnessing a college football game. Oh, what a time he had!
The fun starts with the pre-game activities with USF’s marching band, “The Thundering Herd,” providing entertainment. The booming sound of the band set the stage for players to get fired up and fans to get worked into a frenzy.
Oh, the pageantry of it all! When the band began to play “The Running of the Bulls,” huge clouds of white fog thickened the air and blocked the tunnel entrance, which is a cue for the team to run onto the field.
Appearing out of the fog, the Bulls in their shiny gold helmets and dark green uniforms ran out onto the stadium turf to the approval of their loyal fans. The event is impressive.
One such fan was Joshua Williams, who is no stranger to displaying school spirit and getting involved with extracurricular activities. He was homecoming king at The Boca Ciega High School and involved himself in various school activities. However, the bar is raised for school spirit on a college campus.
Williams came to the stadium prepared for the moment wearing a white “Horns Up” USF t-shirt, a tan USF baseball cap, his face highlighted with a Bulls eye black decal and a USF lanyard around his neck.
He pulled no punches identifying himself as a Bulls fan!
“I am having a great time with my friends at the game and meeting new people who also attend the university,” Williams said. “It’s also pretty exciting playing in the stadium that the Tampa Bay Buccaneers play.
Williams and I met at halftime of the game versus Elon Phoenix on the deck of the pirate ship located on the northeast corner of Raymond James Stadium.
As I stood on the deck of the pirate ship waiting for the popular freshmen, who claimed not to have known anyone at the school, at least a half-dozen people intercepted his travels toward me. After several short greetings and a few waves and smiles, he made it to the ship.
Welcome to college sports and a new atmosphere of fun!
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