By Daijiah Steele
The arrival of football season at Hampton University is apparent: The band can be heard practicing late nights, the cheerleaders rehearse their cheers and chants, and football players and coaches spend countless hours on the field.
The season opener will be 3:30 p.m. Sunday at Old Dominion University as the Pirates take on the Monarchs [The original 6 p.m. Saturday kickoff across the harbor in Norfolk was changed because of anticipated heavy rain – 3 to 6 inches – from the remnants of Hurricane Hermine].
Will Hampton University students be in attendance?
"Now that I'm a junior and have transportation, I'm willing to travel and support my friends on the cheerleading and football team at away games," said Arie'yana Easterling, a third-year psychology major from Durham, North Carolina. "Hampton needs more people to travel and support the team."
Freshman Rhian Elyse of Houston hopes the game atmosphere matches the invigorating culture of Texas high school football: "I'm so excited to a part of the fan club and cheer for our team."
Timia Whitsey, a sophomore from Houston, said, "I will be in attendance with the Student Leadership Program, so of course we will be sure to have the [people in the] stands cheering and screaming our favorite chants as we show why we love our Hampton Pirates."
Hampton's win-loss record was 6-5 last season and the team is 0-4 lifetime against ODU. The last time the Pirates played the Monarchs was 2 years ago and the game remained fairly close until the last quarter, in which ODU beat the Pirates 41-28.
"I would be interested in going to this game because both schools are close, and I might see someone I know," said Benjamin Faulks, a freshman accounting major from Portsmouth. "But I wasn't able to get a ticket because they sold out so fast. I'm disappointed."
Two-hundred-thirty tickets, according to the campus sports information director, went on sale Aug. 15 and were priced at $31 apiece. Unsold tickets were returned to ODU, which has sold out the last 48 games at 20,118-seat Foreman Field at S.B. Ballard Stadium.
Arianna Herriott and Jordan Parker contributed to this report. The students are majors in the Scripps Howard School of Journalism and Communications.