UF’s football team prepared intentionally long before homecoming weekend
By Annaliese Rizzo, RizzoA1@Findlay.edu
The University of Findlay homecoming is a time of year when fall weather sets in and families come from all over to enjoy the events put on by campus groups. Homecoming also means that football is back and anticipation is building.
Riley Thobe, who is a recent graduate of the University recalls her first time going to the homecoming football game.
“I was really excited to watch that with my dad and sister,” Thobe said. “I was looking forward to bringing my 4-Paws dog at the time, who was also named Riley, to the game as well to see how she would react to the energy in the stadium because there was a lot of energy.”
Players work hard throughout the season to prepare for the games to ensure they are at their best both physically and academically. Senior Mason Alberts, a wide receiver on the team, says they prepare for the homecoming game like they do any other.
“We lift to keep our body in shape twice a week, but we practice usually three days a week,” Alberts said. “We do film study over the opposing team and ourselves, so we know what we need to work on as well as knowing what to expect from our opponents.”
UF football prepares for the homecoming game like most other games, but former UF football quarterback DeMya Wimberly says there is something special about that game.
“You always want to win homecoming, obviously,” Wimberly said. “You always want to win that game because it’s a special meaning. You’ve got a lot of family and people in the stands so you want to make sure you perform well so you can win that game for the students and the University as well.”
If the team is not on the same page, winning can be difficult and losses are even more frustrating. Wimberly and Alberts both emphasize the importance of studying tapes both as a team and individually.
Wimberly says he would never sleep on Friday nights during the football season.
“I would stay up all night watching as much of the other team’s tape that coach would let me take to my room,” Wimberly said. “Then I would just go out and play to win.”
The game on Sept. 30 is the first time they play at home since the first game of the season. They played the last two weeks in New York against Pace University and in Cleveland against Lake Erie College. They play at Hillsdale College next week.
“Coming back for a homecoming game against Kentucky Wesleyan is going to be a nice refresher,” Albert said. “Having a home crowd and stuff like that, that’s enjoyable.”
Finding the right motivation to win can be difficult. Wimberly has some advice and motivation for the current players.
“I would tell them, number one, realize you are not playing for yourself. You are playing for the representation of your team, the university and the representation of your family,” Wimberly said. “Carry and conduct yourself in that way in everything, not just football.”
Kick off for the homecoming football game is at 4 p.m. at Donnell Stadium.