The Swamp

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HighSchoolOT

The Gator Stadium

M. Shell, Staff Writer

The Swamp. What is it? It is the home to Green Level Gators sports. The epicenter for outdoor sports at the school. During a normal year students flow in night after night for various sports: football, soccer, lacrosse, and many more. Parents, teachers, and students alike cheered their team on at the Swamp. While there might not be as many people today, the atmosphere stays the same. It was the first game I had ever played in the Swamp. All of our other games have been at different high schools. But none of their stadiums are quite like ours. Ours with fresh pristine grass, nice stands, an amazing mural, and a breathtaking announcers box. No other stadium is quite like it.

 

Walking up to my teammates, wondering what it would be like for the first time having my parents watch me play, the home field advantage: everything was pretty absurd. But because of Covid-19 I had to wait just a little while longer. One by one, temperatures were taken and everyone was getting screened. If you passed, you entered with your friends and teammates. The whole team masked up as usual on the bench talking exuberantly about the game merely an hour ahead. Warm-ups started with music playing, coaches were talking while the other team began arriving. It really was a different atmosphere than anywhere else we had been to play. Warm-ups continued as normal and the whistle blew. Captains went to the referees and the rest of the team huddled up for the usual game plan and pep talk. We were supposed to win so the pressure had been high.

 

The starters got onto the field. I stood in my normal spot in the middle of the field and waited. Then those 30 seconds where the referee waits to blow the whistle passed as though we are waiting forever. TWEET! We are off, sprinting into place, frantically going for the ball. Ever

 15 minutes in and they had gotten the possession in their half for the entire game. Searching and searching for a goal and there it was. We scored. It wasn’t over 10 minutes later we put in another one, then went into half time a few minutes later with a solid lead. The atmosphere was insane. Our parents cheered for us for the first time in the game: our announcer, our field, our Swamp. 

We got into the half half huddle hungry for more. The starters took the field again, the 30 seconds that always feel like forever, tweet: game on. Just like the first half we kept the ball in their half for the first 15 minutes or so, and then we started to break through. Goal. Goal. Goal. Three in a row we were rolling, and there were only a few minutes left in the game. We closed out the game with a clean sheet and five well deserved goals. We had done it, the first game at the Swamp was a win.

 

The atmosphere was different when we were at the Swamp. Everything is different when you’re at home, stakes are higher and supporters are watching intently. We entered that field thinking we were going to win and that is exactly what we did. We walked out of the Swamp victorious. Playing at home is a lot different than away and in most cases a lot better. Our parents got to watch, the players get to wear home jerseys, we got to play at home and take the win.