Thousands of U students attend football opener

Ticket officials said more than 4,000 student season-ticket packages had been purchased.

by Brady Averill

Ever since they became students, Lane Trisko and Sean Savage have cheered for the Gophers football team at every home game. On Saturday, they and thousands of other University students headed to the Metrodome for the start of another football season.

Decked out in their Gophers jerseys, beads and maroon-and-gold garb, the best friends stood up during the game, cheering on their favorite football team.

“We’re big football fans,” said Trisko, a history student. “Love sports. Have a lot of school spirit – more than the average Gopher.”

The Rochester, Minn., natives shook hands during good plays. On touchdowns, they ran up and down the stadium’s stairs giving high-fives.

Thousands of other students were also charged up for the start of the 2004 football season and watched the Gophers crush the Toledo Rockets 63-21.

Ticket officials said Thursday that more than 4,000 student season-ticket packages had been sold, but that number could double by the end of the year.

There were 45,144 people in attendance. It was the first Gophers game for many first-year students, also the first football game for others.

Though he’d never been to a football game before, it didn’t stop first-year student Adrian Suncar from ordering season tickets.

Suncar, who is from Indonesia, said he’s still learning about football and didn’t know what to expect from the new experience.

It was also the first Gophers game for first-year students Danielle Mousseau and Jessica Mize, who said they got their money’s worth.

“I love football,” Mousseau said. “I’m glad we have a good team. I think we’ve got some good recruits.”

Though their anticipation and excitement dwindled as the lopsided score continued to grow, both said they enjoyed their experience.

“I think it’s the first thing I’ve done to make me feel like I’m really part of the school,” Mize said.

Sophomore Kyle McKenzie said he thought attending the game was a good way to get back into the swing of classes.

Positive feelings seemed to be shared by a lot of Gophers fans as the game continued. However, the sea of maroon and gold slowly disappeared as the game waned and fans emptied the blue Metrodome seats.

Trisko and Savage, who said they plan to attend every away game this year, also left during the final minutes.

“Even we have some limits,” Savage said. “If it was a little bit closer, then we’d probably stay.”

Nervous in the beginning, neither said they minded the uneven win.

“Not a lot of people go to these games. We have to do our part,” Savage said.

They said they’ll be back for next Saturday’s game versus Illinois State.