YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) – It was night one for the Penguins’ football team at the Ice Castle as they took on Incarnate Word Thursday night, but the party got started for the fans way before the players took the field.
While the team ran some last-minute drills on the field, just outside the stadium, the music was playing, people were dancing and getting ready to cheer on the Penguins for their first game of the season.
Families, alumni and students were scattered all over the parking lots, some even traveling from out of state for Thursday night’s game.
“I’m from Youngstown, but I live in Fort Wayne, Indiana, and it was the first tailgate. It’s been two years since we’ve had a tailgate out here and all my friends are gonna be here, so I wanna come home for the tailgate and see all my friends and family,” said Joe Markovitch at the tailgate.
The cornhole boards were set up, the footballs tossed around and the tailgate food was smelling good anywhere you walked.
“We got a little bit of pizza. We’re grilling out. Can’t go wrong with Youngstown food,” said Alan Burns
The tailgate wasn’t overly busy, but what it lacked in people, it made up for in school spirit, especially after a season watching the games from the couch.
“We watched them on TV and everything, but it’s not the same atmosphere as being down here,” Burns said.
“It’s a Thursday night. I know we had kids had class tonight. I guess we’re happy kids are in class, but we wish we were having fun supporting the Penguins as much as we can,” said Jake Clark
And this season, they’ve all got high hopes for the Guins.
“I hope the Penguins go back to national championship. That was a great season. I was here when that happened. I hope they go back,” Clark said.
“It’ll be exciting to see some new players out there, the new coach being involved and seeing what he can do with the program,” Burns said.