PULLMAN, Wash. — The WSU 2022 Crimson and Gray spring football game kicked off at 3 p.m. at Gesa Field. Fans lined stadium stands to watch the team's offensive and defensive line face off.
In the crowd were future Cougs, students and alumni. The university's mascot, Butch, also made an appearance in the stands and on the field.
According to WSU athletics, before the game started, the football team hosted a kids clinic for kindergarten through 5th grade students. Also before kickoff, the university's band, cheer and dance teams rallied up spectators as they took their seats.
One fan sitting in the stands for her first time this year was WSU sophomore Catelyn Epperly. She said COVID-19 prevented her from going to other games and felt like she missed out on a lot of fun other students were having. Saturday, she was able to join her fellow classmates and get the full football experience.
"I had to stay home so it was pretty disappointing because I could still see everyone having fun," Epperly said. "Now, I get to finally come down here and really experiencing it for myself is really exciting.”
While many students attended the game, alumni fans, traveling back to their old stomping grounds, were also in the stands.
Class of 1979 WSU alum Curt Anderson traveled to Pullman from western Washington to celebrate his fraternity's 100th Founders Day.
Anderson said it feels good to see old classmates, meet new fraternity members and go to football games now that COVID-19 has become more manageable.
“With the COVID and everything, everything was shut down and there was no fun to be had," Anderson said. "But now, everybody can come over and celebrate being a Coug.”
WSU junior Mac Reece worked at the stadium's merchandise booth during the last football season and on Saturday. She said it's nice to see people enjoying a sunny day while cheering on the team. Reece said she's looking forward to the start of the season and more sunny game days ahead.
"I’m mostly excited for the good weather and people enjoying themselves again," Reece said. "It’s nice to see people have that again after the last few years.”
The game wrapped with an autograph session with the players.
WSU football's season begins Sept. 3, with a home opener against the University of Idaho Vandals.