The Dixie State College football team takes on Western Oregon University on Saturday for its first home game of the season.
The Wolves, who beat Dixie twice last season, had finished second in the conference last year. WOU is now the No. 3 pick for the Great Northwest Athletic Conference this year.
Head coach Scott Brumfield said since the Red Storm played WOU twice last year, it has turned into somewhat of a rivalry between the two teams.
But will DSC capitalize on its home field advantage?
“I’m very excited to come out here and show what we got in front of our hometown,” said senior wide receiver Mitch Frei, a business major from Santa Clara.
The Red Storm is trying to effectively change the outcome of the game this year by doing pursuit drills and running the offense in practice.
“The preparation during the week is great, and we have had a good tempo this week,” said senior corner Ray Chapman, a criminal justice major from Compton, Calif. “We have a lot more unity this year, so I feel like we’re going to do well.”
The team has made some changes from last year by bringing on some freshmen and a lot of seasoned talent.
“It’s nice this year compared to last year,” Brumfield said. “We have a lot of senior leadership and experienced guys and upperclassmen. The past couple years there’s been a lot of freshmen, so now the young guys get to learn from the older guys.”
Though a lot of the freshmen this year are red shirting, they can make for a well-rounded scout team for the starters.
“The last couple years we have had to play a lot of our freshmen,” Brumfield said. “This year we will be able to develop and red shirt them. Though we do have a lot of good young kids, they will be able to get to the weight room. They will learn how to go to school and practice and be a complete student athlete.”
The student body will be tailgating on 700 East by the Hansen Stadium to support the football team before every home game at 3:30 p.m.
There will be different activities going to get as many students there as possible for when the football team walks through the tailgate party at 4 p.m.
“We are going to be doing raffles and giving stuff away,” said Alumni Association President Austin Fackler, a sophomore pre-med major from Eager, Ariz. “Whoever gets there before the team gets there is going to get something free.”
There will be room for students to park their cars, put out grills and play their music. There will also be free food and blow-up jump houses for the students who participate.
“We just want it to be a huge party that everyone can come to before the game,” Fackler said.
The Red Storm plays Western Oregon University at 6 p.m. on Saturday at Hansen Stadium.