Excitement returns to Veterans Memorial Stadium

Published 5:10 pm Thursday, September 2, 2021

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There will be a sense of normalcy at Veterans Memorial Stadium on Saturday when the Trojans host Southern in the 2021 opener.

After an unorthodox season in 2020, the 2021 season will aspire to bring back the excitement to the stadium, the campus and the city.

The Trojans will open the season at home after traveling to play Middle Tennessee State to open the season last year.”

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The opener is set to kickoff at 6 p.m. on Saturday, but the fun and excitement around the stadium will start well before then.

“Exciting time with week one of the college season,” head coach Chip Lindsey said. “It’s an opportunity for us to get back in our stadium, hopefully with a full crowd. It’s been a couple of years, so I know our players are obviously excited about that, as well as our staff.

“Looking forward to Saturday back in our stadium with a big crowd, Trojan Walk and all the things that go along with a home game in Troy, Alabama.”

After not having it last year, the Trojans will welcome back Trojan Walk this season. This Saturday Trojan Walk will begin at 3:45 at the corner of George Wallace and University Avenue.

Other activities include: A dual band performance at halftime featuring the Sound of the South and the Southern University Marching Band, a pregame kids zone, postgame fireworks and much more.

The Trojans field one of the more experienced teams in the Sun Belt Conference this season, returning 19 of their 22 starters from a season ago. Although this will not be the first opening weekend for many of the players, this Saturday’s game will offer excitement they haven’t experienced since 2019.

“It’s been two years since we have had an atmosphere like we are going to have on Saturday,” Lindsey said. “I think there is an advantage for us having veteran guys, but make no mistake about it, they are still young men who get excited about the opportunity to play at home.

“I’m sure the juices will be flowing. We do have a lot of returners, so I expect our guys to handle it well and hopefully use it as really good motivation to play a great game on Saturday.”

Two veterans who are no strangers to opening day will be center Dylan Bradshaw and linebacker Carlton Martial. Bradshaw has been playing for the Trojans since 2017 and Martial started in 2018. Both players are excited for this season’s opener.

“Ready to go,” Bradshaw said. “Anticipation builds all year. You look forward to this. You go through the camp grind, every player in the country does that. Ready for game one and ready to see what this team is all about. We have high expectations going into the year and we are ready to get it going.”

“It’s exciting to hit the field with these guys,” Martial said. “It’s a new team with a new feel. I feel really excited to get back to work and see what we have this season.”