WT welcomes a new football tradition


Kaelin Collar

“Students take part in the stampede and rush the football field.”

As the 2022–2023 school year progresses, students, staff and the community can look forward to new traditions throughout the sporting seasons. Kicking off the latest list of traditions for the football season is rushing the field as a stampede. Essentially, the idea of the stampede tradition gathers the majority of students who come together and rush the field, welcoming new and old students back into Bain-Schaeffer Buffalo Stadium.

“As a university, we do have some unique traditions here, and I’m not trying to say that they’re not as cool as others, but I think some traditions give an adrenaline rush,” mentions Sedrick Knowlton, the Associate Athletic Director of Marketing and Fan Experience. “The goal was to bring back something that the student body could actually be excited about.”

Putting together the stampede was to initially build new traditions within the Bain-Schaeffer Buffalo Stadium that could last forever. Unfortunately, some previous traditions that the student body and community looked forward to have faded away. Some were ended due to safety precautions and the growing student populations.

For instance, one of the most eagerly anticipated traditions was the bonfire before the first football game; however, with the increasing rate of the student population, there was more of a demand for more buildings. Due to this, the bonfire faded away so that there was space to build the Paul Engler Agriculture and Natural Sciences complex. For those reasons, these upcoming traditions, such as the stampede, are envisioned specifically with the goal to become a legacy on campus.

“It’s to welcome the new class and to Bain-Schaefer Buffalo Stadium and have reserved seating at the bottom where new students can sit for the first time,” explains Knowlton. “The overall goal of the stampede is to help grow some school spirit and to have a sense of ownership as well.”

Ideally, the stampede is to run onto the field and allow students to make it their own. In 2016, the student body was given the opportunity to vote on a new stadium that could feel like its own sense of purpose for athletics and student spirit.

Corresponding to running the buffalo before kickoff, the stampede provides a different experience. It rounds up the crowd and intimates the opposing team to see a university take pride and not be afraid to demonstrate its school spirit.

“Overall, it was really fun, awesome, and a unique way to be a part of the game. I thought it’d be cool to get pumped up before the game and to be involved in the game, ” states freshman, Katie Larson.

“Students unleash the new stampede tradition.” (Kaelin Collar)

Considering this was the first year of the stampede, there was a great turnout with hundreds of students, and it’s only expected to continue growing. All the students who participated and those who watched were all filled with a thrilling sensation.

“I almost got trampled in the back, but luckily I didn’t, so it was all fun. I’ve met so many wonderful people here, the kindest people I’ve ever met. So, I can’t wait to meet more people and be a part of traditions. It was a lot of fun,” says freshman, Natalie Johnson.

Creating new, lasting traditions like the stampede is just the beginning of a new chapter on campus. With many fresh ideas, especially planned around athletics, students and the community can look forward to new traditions throughout the university.