April 14, 2007
Spring fest is the kickoff to the UVa football season with a Blue versus White game, but Saturday, it was the rain versus the fans.
Until four years ago, the UVa Spring football game was just a kickoff. The team split up and played against one another for practice. Now, this game has turned into a festival for all ages.
“The Virginia Spring Football Festival is really a celebration of Virginia football,” said Todd Goodale, Associate Director of UVa Athletics’ Marketing and Video services.
This year's festival kicked off to a soggy start, but despite the rain, fans literally had a field day.
“If you're having a great time, the rain is just an added accessory,” said ten-year-old Kaitlyn Hathaway.
Each spring, the UVa football team invites fans to help them celebrate another year of Wahoo football. However, before the field fills up with players, it’s the fans that have a chance to show off their athletic skills.
“They actually let you run a 40-yard little race, and if you got a good time, people can actually see it too,” said Hathaway.
“Families have the opportunity to do an NFL combine on the field, a 40-yard dash, a gauntlet run, a field goal kick and football throw,” said Goodale.
In the past several years, organizers have added more attractions and activities to spring fest to make it more than just a game.
“Our goal is to build the brand of Virginia football, and so the more fun people can have, the better,” Goodale said. “We've tried to build on a lot of activities for the family from inflatable games, balloon artists, face tattoos, free posters, we give away raffle prizes throughout the games.”
Despite all the extra activities, Cory Giacco said he's most excited about “the game, the game in general.”
Organizers said they were happy with this year's lower turnout. They said it was actually high in spite of the cold rain, and there is no way weather could dampen their Wahoo spirit.
Additions to next year’s festival are in the works