It’s two weeks before school starts on a Saturday night and I’m walking around Aggie Stadium.
The football team is in the midst of a very compelling game against No. 4 Montana and over 9,000 Aggie Pack faithful are there to see it.
Unfortunately, one tough fourth quarter and one light fixture mishap later, the football team lost 17-10. The fact of the matter was apparent, though: Fans mean a lot to the athletes and coaches who put everything on the line each game.
“Playing at home is always an advantage,” said coach Bob Biggs. “I was pleased to see as many students as we had considering school hasn’t started.“
“It is great to play here,” said quarterback Greg Denham. “[The fans] were cheering their butts off.“
That would be an understatement.
Montana, a team that advanced to the Football Championship Subdivision title game last season, marched into Aggie Stadium on this Saturday night and felt the wrath of the Aggie Pack.
“It is great to be home and have the fans rooting for our team,” said wide receiver Chris Carter after the game, one in which he set a UC Davis record with 18 receptions for 190 yards.
The message I’m trying to send you, Aggie faithful, is that even though you may not realize it, you do matter. And let’s just say you didn’t hear it from me.
“Anybody who has ever played the game has always played much better when you have a full house and everybody cheering for you,” Biggs said. “You look up and everybody is standing up and cheering and it’s loud. That’s what it should be. That’s what college athletics is all about.“
Football isn’t the only sport to feel this gratitude.
“We had a great crowd here and great support for our students not being in session,” men’s soccer coach Dwayne Shaffer said after a heartbreaking 2-1 loss against Washington.
For those of you Aggie Packers who just got back into Davis, here’s what you missed so far. Don’t fret, though, because it’s not too late to don your Aggie blue, head out to a game and give your team the edge it needs to win.
Football: UC Davis felt the wrath of an overbearing physical running game in an opening season 51-0 loss at Fresno State. The Bulldogs outrushed the Aggies 310-43 in the game. UC Davis then lost a heartbreaker to Montana at home to wrap up the summer.
Men’s soccer: After a season-opening loss to San Jose State, UC Davis cashed in with wins over Robert Morris and Central Arkansas to win the UNLV Nike Invitational in Las Vegas, Nev. The Aggies are currently in the midst of a four-game losing streak, but return home this Sunday to face that team from over the Causeway at 2:30 p.m.
Women’s soccer: A team that once struggled to score goals is now an offensive juggernaut. The Aggie offensive attack has already scored 20 times – three more than they had all of last season – en route to a 4-2-1 record.
Women’s field hockey: Competing for the first time in 27 years, the Aggies began their season with a 3-0 record. They’ve lost five in a row since, including a contest with No. 14 Stanford.
Women’s golf: They finished sixth out of 18 at the Dick McGuire/ Branch Law Firm Invitational. Freshman Belen Hernandez wasn’t fazed by the tongue twister of a tournament name as she shot a 4-under-69 in the final round.
Men’s golf: The team finished third out of 12 teams at the Washington State Invitational and second out of 13 at the Spartan Classic. Junior Austin Graham earned third place individual honors with a 5-under par score in Kingsley, Mich.
Men’s water polo: The 18th-ranked Aggies are 5-4, with all their losses coming to higher ranked opponents (No. 3 California, No. 1 Stanford, No. 12 Santa Clara and then No. 17 UC San Diego).
Women’s volleyball: Four wins in 2007, 12 last season and already nine this season equates to a much-improved program. Seniors Carson Lowden and Avreeta Singh lead UC Davis into Big West Conference play, which starts today at 7 p.m. in Hickey Gym.
Men’s and women’s cross country: Both teams finished first at the Hornet Jamboree. Sophomore Jonathan Peterson finished first in the men’s race while sophomore Abbey Gallaher came in second on the women’s side.
As you can see, our Aggies are up to some exciting things this fall. With your help, this trend can continue all year-round.
MAX ROSENBLUM will be making sure YOU are wearing Aggie Blue and supporting your teams this fall. Help him out by reporting names of those who don’t at firstname.lastname@example.org.