Kicking The Night Off: “Friday Night Futbol” returns

Picture+taken+by+junior+Ricardo+Aravena

Picture taken by junior Ricardo Aravena

Dylan Williamson, Sports Writer

With the varsity football team having a bye week last Friday, many students looked for an event under the lights as they headed to the Durwood Pack Soccer Stadium to cheer on the boys varsity soccer team against the Lake Norman Wildcats.
In its sixth year, this Friday Night Futbol tradition has given the players one special night under the lights as a reward for their hard work they have put in during the season.
This game is much different than any other game during the season because the addition of the cheerleaders, dance team and band can have a huge effect on the way the team plays. The stands are typically filled with parents, other family members and a handful of students.
“The rules normally do not allow outside noises, but the refs and opponents have approved it; [the players] are not used to having this many people watch them play,” head coach Jeffrey Williams said.
It wasn’t just those on the pitch who noticed a massive change in the atmosphere, but fans in the students section as well.
“The soccer team had all of the normal groups that are at a football game. I feel like they were in a new environment with everybody watching and how hype everyone was,” freshman Max Williamson said.
The team took the opportunity to play in front of a huge crowd and make the most of their time in the spotlight while also trying to make sure everyone else around them had a good time.
“All the focus is on the soccer team and nothing else. Having the fans, cheerleaders, band and dance team really makes it a special event. The whole team is always hyped for it,” sophomore varsity player Haegen Paschold said.
There have been years where the tradition has been absent such as during the COVID-19 pandemic as well as when a hurricane hit the Clemmons area, so some recent seasons have lacked the excitement Friday Night Futbol brings, but players hope the event can continue being an annual thing moving forward.
“I think it’s special since it’s only once a season, but I would like to have the vibe and feeling more often because people underestimate the effect an atmosphere can have on a team,” junior goalkeeper Grant Talley said.