One of the great perks of being Sports Director for The Optimist is that I get to travel with the football team for away games. For the Wildcats’ very first game of the season, we flew to Atlanta, GA. where the team took on the Georgia State Panthers.
Although the game did not turn out quite the way we expected, getting to shoot video on the sideline was incredible. The game was held in the historic Georgia Dome, home of the NFL team the Atlanta Falcons. I remember walking into the stadium and immediately thinking “they don’t have this in Abilene.”
The game was a heart breaker, as Georgia State kicked a game-winning field goal with just seconds remaining, but the experience more than made up for it. Before the game, I was able to go to Georgia State’s tailgate where some students gave me a plate of delicious Bar-B-Que, despite wearing my ACU purple shirt.
After a week at home, the team traveled out of state once again to play Troy in Alabama. The fight, albeit shorter, was bumpier than my last place experience. To say I was relieved to step on Alabama soil would be an understatement. Nevertheless, we made it to Alabama and I was ready to watch some football through my camera lens.
The game was delayed for weather reasons, but it finally began to rain as the teams prepared for kickoff and I had all my electronic equipment exposed. The rain quickly went from a drizzle to a heavy shower as I rushed to ensure the safety of my camera and film. An hour later, the rain subsided and the game began.
Troy was widely agreed upon as ACU’s toughest opponent of the season, so hopes were not high going into the game. The Wildcats battled in a second half that became must watch television. ACU fought to tie the game and then went up by 10 points, as the Wildcats came up with the improbable win.
Both games were great opportunities to gain experience for myself. Although each trip left me exhausted, it only secured my belief that being a sports journalist is what I want to do.