By: Grant Vandever
My First Wylie Football Game!
As we all know, there is nothing like Friday night in Texas. However, every town and school has its own special aspects. Wylie is no different.
Better Get There Early
I had heard about the crowds that attend Wylie Football games and had every intention of arriving early. It was a good thing because the millennial in me forgot that I actually needed cash to get in the game instead of a debit card.
I was told the game started at 7 PM (rather than 7:30). But I guess the start time really doesn’t matter to Wylie fans (I heard many were already in the parking lot celebrating the pre-game as early as 5 PM).
What I saw was surprising. EVERYONE in the community seemed to be trying to get to the game. I sat in a parking lot at Buffalo Gap and Antilley and watched the steady stream of cars continually poor toward the stadium. That is, until 7:25 when the streets suddenly looked empty. You know it’s a football Friday night in West Texas when the streets are all but deserted.
I learned my lesson: If I want to see kickoff, I better start my trip with plenty of time to spare.
More Than Football
Don’t get me wrong, Wylie LOVES its Bulldogs but there is so much more going on. I worked in minor league baseball after graduating from college, and Friday night had a very similar feel. Kids were playing their own football game, the band was prepping for its own time under the lights, the young alumni were using the game as a time to catch up, and families were sharing hotdogs and spending quality time together. Friday night in Wylie is driven by the long history of football excellence, but there is something for everyone in the community to enjoy.
There is something to be said for students that spend their days in kindergarten as Bulldogs and graduate 12 years later wearing that same purple and gold.
Don’t Leave Early
As the final seconds ran down in the game, I thought about heading to my car a little early as to not get stuck in the parking lot: Man, am I glad I didn’t. As I said earlier, I have been to many high school sporting events in my life and most end the same way: shake hands, take a knee with coach, head to the band and student section for school song, and back to locker room for a hug and high five from the parents. However, Wylie does something really cool that I had not seen.
As I stood at the fence waiting for the team to come by on the way to the locker room, it seemed like EVERYONE else was heading onto the field. That’s when I learned about one of my new favorite Wylie traditions: Adopt a Bulldog! I love football as much as the next guy, but to have the football players and cheerleaders take time and play with the next generation Bulldogs (even after a hard fought game) was really something.
There are many traditions and events that a new person to Wylie might not know about.
If you have an idea of something Wylie I should experience tweet us @WylieGrowl and you might see that new Wylie guy in the vest looking to see something for the first time.