Staff Writers: Trevor Bryan and Garrett Elder
After a year off from in person celebrations due to Covid, Wingate University will celebrate Homecoming this weekend.
For many years, Bulldog students have come together to participate in several exciting events and festivities unique to Wingate. Students all over campus enjoy the atmosphere when homecoming rolls around.
“As a cheerleader, homecoming is my favorite weekend of the year,” said junior Sarah Grace DuRant.
Many events and games have been going on all week. The Bulldog Activities Resource Committee, or BARC, had a “class cab” that rode students to class each morning this week. They also hosted laser tag in a large inflatable arena on Wednesday.
“It’s been an exciting week,” said freshman Evan Bernard.
In addition to these events, the Bill Connell Memorial Golf Tournament is taking place at Eagle Chase Golf Club in Marshville.
Starting at 10 a.m. on Saturday, the annual Lacrosse Alumni Game will take place at Graham Gill Field. Meanwhile, at 10:30, many alumni from the classes of 1970 and 1971 will be gathering at the Bulldog Club Tent at the football stadium to celebrate their 50th reunion. Following the Alumni Game, Wingate men’s Lacrosse will take on Lander at 1 p.m.
A cookout will be taking place outside of the Unity House while the Homecoming Festival officially begins in the Tailgate parking lot outside Irwin Belk Stadium. Tailgaters will come out to enjoy live music, local food trucks, face painting and much more in preparation for the football game.
Other athletic events taking place on campus as the afternoon continues. Both the men’s and women’s soccer teams will be in action at Pride Park facing off against Newberry at 4 and 7:30 p.m., respectively.
Finally, the Homecoming football game will kickoff at 6 p.m.
The Bulldogs will face off against the Tusculum Pioneers. With a 4-0 record, Wingate sits atop the South Atlantic Conference while Tusculum fights in the middle of the pack at 2-2.
Despite the fact that Wingate boasts an early undefeated record, Tusculum may prove to be a feisty opponent. The Pioneers dominated St. Augustine University in the first game of the season, but have since played in some very close games. Despite falling just short in bouts between both Chowan and Newberry, Tusculum has proven that they can score. Through a strong passing attack and effective run game, the Pioneers have climbed to first in the SAC for points scored.
With four victories under their belt, Wingate is hopeful that they can continue their early success this weekend. In addition to multiple weapons on the offensive side of the ball, the Bulldogs flaunt an experienced and very impressive defense which ranks above all others in the conference. Allowing only 10.3 points per game, Wingate has proven that their toughness and physicality could pose a lot of problems for opponents.
Following the game, a fireworks display will take place behind Irwin Belk Stadium. Families, friends, students and faculty will watch as the sky lights up and the eventful week comes to a close.
For a full lineup of Homecoming events and festivities, visit the Wingate Homecoming page.