Rainy Day Doesn’t Dampen WVU’s Pregame Fun
by Kirsten Reneau
MORGANTOWN — While Mountaineer fans may not have always been pleased with the final scores of this season’s games, they still remain loyal to West Virginia University football.
Despite WVU’s up-and-down season, Mountaineer fan Whitney Polites, who traveled from North Carolina to watch Saturday’s matchup, was holding out hope before the game against Texas.
“A lot can still happen in the next two weeks,” he said prior to the loss to the Longhorns. “It was a tough loss with Virginia Tech, a tough loss to Oklahoma State, and we need some help coming up for TCU or Oklahoma State to lose. So I still have my fingers crossed for a Big 12 Championship, but a lot rides on this game.”
Polites said that, overall, he’s been pleased with the team’s play this season.
“There’s been a couple losses, but we’re in fourth in the Big 12, and there’s still a chance of playing Dallas in the championship,” he said before Saturday’s game. “It’s not over yet, which is why we’re out here in the rain, all the way from North Carolina, because there’s still a chance.”
WVU student Jesse Lackey said the tone of the 2017 season was set with the opening loss to Virginia Tech.
“It wasn’t bad, but we weren’t as good as we could have been,” Lackey said. “It was decent. We had a lot of close games.”
Diana Wells said the football team did “OK” this year. But, for Wells, football season is about more than just wins and losses.
“The band has been fun to watch, and tailgating has been great,” she said. “Football is important, but it’s not the only reason that I come out. So even if we don’t always play well, it’s still been a good season for me.”
Glenn Mako, who traveled from New Jersey to watch Saturday’s game, said it’s been a mixed season overall for the WVU team.
“This was a tough season. I wish we did a little bit better in a couple games,” Mako said. “We were there, but we weren’t there always.”
Looking ahead to the Mountaineers’ next game — against Oklahoma — Mako he hopes “they just stay tough and win.”
Most WVU football fans will support their team, no matter its win-loss record, and Zack Halsey is one such supporter.
“As a West Virginia resident, you have to root for the Mountaineers, no matter what,” Halsey said. “They’re out there doing they’re best, and I’ll always support them.”
Brianna Jackson of Preston County said that although WVU’s 2017 football season could have turned out better, it still went fairly well in her opinion.
“It was OK,” Jackson said. “We might be a little worse off next year, but I’m going to hope for the best. Maybe we’ll get some awesome freshmen next year.”
Austin Grant said the Mountaineers did well this year — “for what we had going.”
“We had a new quarterback, a lot of fresh players coming in, doing what they can do. Our seasoned players are trying and working hard,” Grant said. “We do have a problem with pulling out the win. We played with our hearts and we do our best, and at the end of the day, we played West Virginia football. ”
Grant said he hopes the team will learn from this season and remember to finish games strong.
“We need to win close games. We can go out there and beat teams, but we really need to finish well,” he said.