Athletics hosts watch party at home to support away game


Dylan Meche/The Lion’s Roar

Students, faculty and community members gathered in Strawberry Stadium on Dec. 7 to watch the FCS Playoff game against the University of Montana. Fans were encouraged to bring their own chairs, blankets and food while cheering for the Lions.

While the university football team was on the road playing the University of Montana, a group of students and community members had the opportunity to cheer on the Lions at home.

Athletic Marketing and Promotions held the FCS Playoff Watch Party in Strawberry Stadium on Saturday Dec. 7. The game was projected on the stadium’s jumbotron and fans were able to sit on the field while watching the game. There was no admission fee, and the community was able to experience a game-day like atmosphere without having to travel to Montana.

Gabe Willis, dean of students, attended the event and shared why he decided to support the Lions at the watch party.

“If I could not be in Montana, there is no other place that I would rather be to come and watch the Lions,” said Willis. “It is great to come here and celebrate with this crowd. So, just to be in somewhat of a game-like atmosphere I think is great. Whatever kind of support we can prove, that’s what we wanted to do. That’s why I came out.”

John Sartori, a senior communication major, expressed appreciation for having the opportunity to support the Lions despite not being present for the game itself.

“I have been here at Southeastern since 2015 and it has been a long time coming for Southeastern football to finally make the playoffs,” shared Sartori. “Last weekend was truly a dream come true for a Southeastern fan to finally witness a playoff victory. It is also awesome to see the community actually care about Southeastern football. I wanted to be a part of it, and I was not going to miss this opportunity.”

Zariah Williams, a sophomore nursing major, echoed a similar sentiment.

“I wanted to support the team as best as I could,” stated Williams. “I thought that it would be fun to come out here and cheer the team on.”

Head coach Frank Scelfo explained how the team lost to Montana.

“They literally beat us on all three facets  of the game,” shared Scelfo. “They beat us on offense, special teams and defense.”

Scelfo explained what he hopes Southeastern takes from the game against Montana.

“I hope our coaches, players and fans learn that we want our football culture just like theirs,” said Scelfo. “You get to that point by winning a lot of ball games and a lot of championships. I think with these group of guys we can certainly get there.”

The Lions ultimately fell to the University of Montana 73-28, ending their 2019 season.