The previous post here was dedicated to game action at the Sept. 7 season opening game at St. Joseph's College between the host Pumas and Valparaiso University, a game won by St. Joe's 34-31. Today's post is devoted primarily to the people who pumped atmosphere into the stadium environment -- the marching band, the cheerleaders, the fans and tailgaters.
St. Joe's cheerleaders do a nice job of keeping home crowd energized as well, and it helps that the band gives the cheer promoters a healthy diet of peppy tunes and hypnotizing rhythms -- sometimes at a fever, thumping pitch ... which is why I led this post with a close up of the dummers' sticks preparing to strike another beat.
I loosely divided the pictures in this post by the band, the cheerleaders, team introductions, the fans and tailgating. There are one or two bonus shots tossed in for good measure.
The next post will feature my shots taken during a walk-around of the St. Joseph's campus prior to the game.
Above and next eight below: The rhythm section of the marching band, which anchors the north end zone of Alumni Football Field. I'm not sure why the one percussionist put the bandana or neck scarf up around his face; it was very hot and humid. It didn't last there very long.
Above: I don't know for sure, but I believe this youngster is related to Robb Thiel, director of college bands at St. Joseph's.
Above: Apparently it's tradition for students who welcome the St. Joe's football team onto the field to turn their backs on the visiting squad as it enters the stadium. That's what's going on here.
Above and next two below: Running back Braxton Shelton (7) leads the Pumas in a pep chant, rocking to-and-fro swagger at the south end zone before turning toward the field and yelling out a charge.
Above and below: A look a two hair styles along the Pumas' sideline.
Above and below: The only high-dynamic range (HDR) images in this post are of the home team's side of the stadium stands. I shot this hand-held with a Tamron 18-270mm f/3.5-6.3 Di PZD VC lens attached to my Canon 30D. HDR is a melding in post-processing of two or more images taken of the same scene but at different exposures. I used three exposures for each of these, taken at 0 (normal), -3/4 and +3/4.
Above and next three below: Shots of the St. Joseph's crowd in the stadium.
Above and below: The Crusaders had a nice support base on their side of the field as well. Valparaiso is about an hour's drive from Rensselaer.
Above: I included this picture to convey a curiosity (at least to me). St. Joseph's school colors are cardinal and purple, a combination I can't say I've ever seen or heard of before. But between the football team's jerseys and the marching band's attire in the background, this is how it plays out .
Above and the remainder below: The modest tailgating pack congregated in a meadow east of the stadium. St. Joseph's charges $5 to park on their grounds ... and $20 to set up in the tailgate area.