A new family tradition
Dec. 1, 2014
by Jenni Sebora

A few weeks ago, I took a Suburban full of high school kids, including my son and some friends, to the Minnesota Golden Gophers women’s volleyball game.

A few of the kids take classes at their high school that count toward college credit via University of Minnesota; thus they have University of Minnesota student identification cards so they get in free to games. This all means they could sit in the student section.

My son and I did not; well, obviously, I did not. However, I was a former student at the University just a few (more than) 20 years ago to obtain my graduate degree. My son wanted to watch the game, rather than get caught up in the hoopla of cheering and yelling, which is fun in the student section.

My family and I love attending college events. The atmosphere is exhilarating and exciting. We also really enjoy watching college volleyball, so we have attended quite a few U of M games this year.

The pep band plays at every game and leads the chants. The announcer is fantastic, and adds to the great atmosphere of the event.

This particular game, as well as for a few other games, we were sitting in the lower section next to the coaches’ meeting room, as well as the locker rooms.

Now, this really adds to the whole experience – listening to the coaches, all 50 of them (well, not that many), as they discuss strategy and game overview; watching the players run into the locker room at “half-time;” and observing alumni and staff decked-out in their maroon and gold apparel – it’s all fun.

My family enjoys studying the stats of the team and the Big Ten. Since we go to enough games, we also know the players, and know when the coach has made a change in the lineup.

The Minnesota coach was the US women’s Olympic volleyball coach, and has chosen to coach in Minnesota (I believe his wife is from our lovely state).

Each team we play, I study the roster to determine what city and state the girls are from. Minnesota is on the top of the list for having predominantly hometown girls on their rosters – Lakeville, Eden Prairie, Stillwater, Mankato, and Stewartville – this is cool.

I don’t want to live downtown, but it sure is nice to visit, including driving at night, taking in all of the lights, especially at this time of year.

On this particular night, we stopped at a restaurant on 5th Avenue at 10 p.m. – after the game. That, in itself, was fun. I sat at a table nearby my son and his friends. I really delight in listening to them laughing and joking and conversing. The food was good, but the company was better.

Last weekend, my son and middle daughter, who plays volleyball, watched the Gophers beat Purdue (an upset) in three games. It was awesome. The bleachers were full of maroon and gold. The pep band was fantastic, and we were cheering. My daughter got into the festive cheers by the pep band.

These trips are becoming family tradition, and are such a great way to spend time together. We love watching volleyball, but more so, the festive atmosphere, the band, the atmosphere, and the camaraderie shared by all.

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