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About our football team
By Ernie W. Webb III
While I was interviewing ticket-taker supreme Crosby Powell (story on pages 33-34) in September, longtime baseball coach Steve Anson stepped in and chimed in on the man who hasn’t missed a football game at Washburn since the price of gas was a quarter.
“Now this is the man you want to talk to if you want to hear some stories,” Anson said.
One of the more compelling stories is the rise of Washburn’s football team during the last decade.
“I’ve seen a lot of good teams, and some bad teams,” Powell said. “A lot of changes over the years. What they’ve got going here now is pretty special.”
Special because every home game here is an event, complete with tailgating, the football team and band marching through campus and a stadium that’s become a home field advantage.
I can only remember one night during my years as a student at Washburn that bristled with the atmosphere every college football game should have. It was Oct. 29, 1998, against arch rival Emporia State.
The game was televised on a Thursday night, the stadium was full and the students and fans were energized. It was a once-in-a-decade atmosphere at Moore Bowl. I remember wishing it’d happen more often.
“I remember a lot of them, a lot of games,” Powell said. “I know for a while, we weren’t taking as many tickets.”
That began to change in 2002 when Craig Schurig became the head coach. Washburn began to build, literally and figuratively. Stadium renovations accompanied winning and more fans.
Suddenly, the north side of Moore Bowl resembled the parking lots of universities across the country on Saturday afternoons in the fall.
“It took the hard work of a lot of people to get to this point,” Schurig said. “We’re very appreciative of the support we get from the university and the community. It’s a big reason we’ve been successful.”
Another great story at Washburn; one with many chapters to come.
Washburn’s record by decade since the 1960s: