The rivalry is back.

Fans pack stadium for the first home football game as NT takes on Loyola

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The rivalry is back.

Enthusiastic fans cheer on the home team while decked out in all-white at the Northfield stadium

Enthusiastic fans cheer on the home team while decked out in all-white at the Northfield stadium

Pearlman

Enthusiastic fans cheer on the home team while decked out in all-white at the Northfield stadium

Pearlman

Pearlman

Enthusiastic fans cheer on the home team while decked out in all-white at the Northfield stadium

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“The rivalry is back” was spray painted across the front lawn of the Northfield campus. As clouds of baby powder filled the air, the Green Team sweatshirts filled the expanded bleachers.

Loyola returned to NT grounds to face the football team in the first regular season game since October.

“I think that with a rivalry as big as New Trier and Loyola there was bound to be a great turnout,” Senior Lizzie Kenter said. And there was.

Seniors held a tailgate two hours before the actual game and started going into the stadium as early as 6:15pm just to get the best seats. By the time 7:00pm rolled around (30 minutes before the game), the bleachers were at capacity.

The forever feud with Loyola was definitely apparent, but NT students were less focused on the “enemy” and more focused on showing support for their team in the first home football game of the year.

“I was sitting in the section with the rest of the seniors and everyone was just happy to be there and cheer on NT. Of course some people bashed Loyola too, but overall I think that the game (for a majority of fans there) was showing up for NT and cheering them on rather than bashing or booing the competition,” Kenter explained.

Going into the game, Coach Doll explained, “Offensively we wanted to establish the run game early against them, and also take advantage of Carson Ochsenhirt’s running ability.”

Although the fans and team were amped up, the anticipation was cut short as a downpour hit the stands early on. Still, the spirit roared on. Senior Katie Stearns said, “The rain didn’t dull our spirit, in fact, it made us cheer even louder.” Senior Marne Sullivan said, “Students were the last ones to leave the stadium. People wanted to stay even when it was pouring rain.”

As the storm continued, the delay did, too. According Doll, the 80 minute delay did have an impact on the team and the fans, just in different ways.
“It wasn’t easy for the team during the long delay because of how excited everyone was to have the game back, and then to have the weather put you inside for 80 minutes,” said Doll.

But he said that, “Both teams had to deal with it, and we will once again learn from it as we move forward.”

The fans were not happy about the storm either, and in the beginning many presumed that was it for the game. As soon as it was announced that the game would continue later, students rushed back to get their spot on the bleachers.

After the delay, the reboot of the game didn’t go the Trevians’ way. Running back and outside line backer, Brian Sitzer, was injured and out the rest of the game. Coach Doll explained that, ‘We have other team players that need to step up and help us. Injuries happen throughout a season, and we prepare numerous players in case of injury.”

The game ended with the Trevians losing 40-3. most players said they “moved on” and want to “focus on the upcoming games”.

Rather then let the loss deter their pride, Doll said that it helped the team move forward.

“We already have started to make adjustments, and that is what an early season loss does for your team. You learn about your team and also as a coach what didn’t go so well, and we grow from it.”

And grow from it they did. The next week the team bounced back with a win against Fremd by a score of 27-21.

While the football team did lose, the atmosphere was energetic and the fans were “all in” no matter rain or shine. Senior Teddy Kamin said, “The atmosphere was electric, it was unlike anything I had seen at a NT game before. “

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