Homecoming craziness gets football players pumped for game

Written by Muleskinner Staff

Story by Jason Strickland, Sports Editor
Floats are being made, alumni are driving and flying back to Central and parties are being planned, but it wouldn’t be Homecoming without football.
“Everybody’s hitting you up during the week, and you’ve got to stay focused on football,” said senior tight end David Cannon. “So, it’s pretty tough during Homecoming.”
For Cannon, Homecoming is a busy week with his fraternity, Alpha Phi Alpha, but he is still able to find time for himself to prepare for the game.
“On nights, I just sit at home and chill,” he said. “I get my homework out of the way, so by the end of the night I can watch film.”
As for senior safety Patrick Lewis, he thinks game first, activities later.
“The big thing about Homecoming is our football game, and if we don’t execute that, then what’s Homecoming?” Lewis said. “We really try to execute the game and then worry about the festivities later.”
Cars fill the parking lots, and people line the parade route, which creates a slight headache for players.
“Trying to get a parking spot somewhere is the hardest thing ever because people park everywhere during Homecoming,” Cannon said.
“It’s kind of hard even to get to the locker room. So, that’s the hardest thing, is getting to the locker room, trying to avoid these people that want to stop you and speak to you.”
Lewis said the craziness around town helps him get pumped up for the game.
“It’s exciting,” he said. “You just see tons of people around town. Parades are going on. It really just gets you even more excited to play a football game than normal.”
Head coach Jim Svoboda said he wants his team to appreciate the attention it gets, but stay focused at the same time.
“That’s really been sort of the theme for us all year,” Svoboda said.
“Avoid all distractions, be focused in our preparation and stay focused on our team goals…You want them to embrace the attention and enthusiasm that the school has for our football program…but not get caught up, and still understand that it wouldn’t be Homecoming without a football game.”