Friday Night Lights is an idea that is akin to a religion in the South and throughout the United States. Westminster was no different. Every Friday night starting in September and into the Fall, you could rely on the fact that everyone was trying to figure out who they were going to the game with. We would get together after class and go to someone’s house where we would hang out and anticipate the night’s activities. When the time came we would clamber into a parents car when we still were too young, or a buddies car when we finally passed our driver exams, and depart to the stadium.
The air was electric from the moment you stepped out of the parked car. People would be flowing from the parking lot a buzz with the info they had heard about the other team and how they thought Westminster would fare that night. It was an environment that drew you in and started to get the excitement going on the walk to the stadium entrance. As you walk up to the ticket takers to show your student ID the loud pregame murmur from Thompson Stadium fills your ears. As you enter you walk down the stairs where a quick path to the left leads you to the concessions where soda, popcorn, and hotdogs flowed. Grabbing a coke in a cup embossed with the Westminster football roster you proceeded down the stairs to an entrance of the metal bleachers.
As you walk through the passageway the murmur turns into a roar as the teams take the field. Looking to the left, the student section is quick to pick out as classmates start to cheer and chant support for Westminster and bad luck to the opposing side, who resided on the opposite side of the field with their fans in the away bleachers. The noise never subsided throughout the night even when walking back to the parking lot. Thompson Stadium is a place that I spent many nights losing my voice and laughing with friends as other friends tried their best to pull out a victory. The night we beat Lovett, our rival, Senior year and spent the entire night celebrating until morning is still a fond memory.
The stadium I knew is now gone and is currently being renovated to add concrete bleachers for the home side in place of the metal scaffolding. Even with the changes, every time I see that field though the nights of glory and defeat come rushing back and being able to watch them all from the stands is something I wouldn’t trade.