WKU kicks off season with tailgating

WKU students rush to Houchens Stadium after tailgating ended, Saturday, Sept. 2, 2017. Tailgating was once held in “the Valley” but has since been moved to the bottom of the hill due to the construction of Hilltopper Hall.

Mason Davis

From South Lawn, all the way up the Valley, and scattered across campus, people are grilling up burgers and popping open beers, all in preparation for the WKU-EKU game happening Saturday night.

This is the first game of the 2017 football season and the first time WKU is playing EKU on their home turf in ten years. People were hauling coolers and lawn chairs out as early as 8 a.m. to get a good spot and get pumped for the game. Red shirts can be seen all throughout campus.

While there are no official numbers or estimates out, the hill has seen more active days for tailgating. Event staff and WKU Freshmen Lindsay Silva and Fin Kirk attribute the lower turnout to the constant rain and partial flooding of yesterday, along with the timing of it on labor day weekend.

“Even though it is the first weekend, I think it’ll definitely be a lot bigger next time once everyone’s on campus again and we have better weather all throughout the day,” Silva said.

However, the weather does not stop some long time fans from coming out, such as former WKU student Richard Drummond, who has been tailgating at Western games for the last 40 years. He was at the game with family and friends, many of whom were Western graduates as well.

“A lot of these guys are kin to me, a lot of them work with me. And we all just come up here, throw in, and have a good time.” Drummond said, frying up burgers on a grill.

On the turnout of the game, he seemed optimistic at Western’s chances, “It’ll probably be a lock in.”

The enthusiasm is felt by current students as well.

Local freshman Lauren Scipioni was on her way to her first tailgate. Her excitement for game day was tangible.

“I’m looking forward to meeting new people and get spirited up and hyped,” Scipioni said, “I’m enjoying the whole new experience. Go Tops!”

Follow @wkuheraldsports or @wkuherald for more game day coverage.