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A night to remember: The Buffs couldn’t have scripted a better way to open new stadium

Updated: Sep 9, 2019


West Texas A&M open its brand new on-campus stadium in fashion with a 35-16 win over Azusa Pacific Saturday night. [All photos by Mackenzie Teal/ Press Pass Sports]


West Texas A&M hit a grand slam with its brand new on-campus stadium.

From the fan-friendly atmosphere, the video tron, the ribbon board, the Great White Buffalo, the suites to the pressbox, it’s an absolute breath taking venue that any college football fan will fall in love with.

I dare someone to tell me there is another stadium outside of FBS that can match what WT has built. Abilene Christian’s stadium comes to mind, but they are technically a Division I (FCS) program. A big thanks has to go to the students. Talking to current students and former WT football players that were in attendance Saturday, each one of them were floored seeing a dream become an actual reality. “I was on a student body government to convince boosters to approve this new stadium,” said former WT linebacker Carter James, who stood on the sideline taking it all in. “To be standing here and seeing this place is incredible. I’m truly proud to be a Buff.” There isn’t a bad seat in the house. Even from the roof top of press box, the view of the game is one of a kind. 

An announced crowd of 10,000 plus packed J Ferg Field at Buffalo Stadium. There isn’t a technical “home side”. Maroon shirts and white towels flooded the stands and to make things even better, WT administrators had the presence of mind to put the popular “Maroon Platoon” behind the visitor sideline.


The Maroon Platoon was an effective factor for WT againsr APU on Saturday.

 

Tying a sweet bow on one of the most historic nights in the school’s history, was the play on the field. It’s one thing to open a stadium and your team lose, but to open a stadium, and your team come away with a dominating win is a huge positive.

It’s no secret the WT fanbase has been torn since the firing of popular head coach Don Carthel in 2013.  Buffs current head coach Hunter Hughes and his team did a tremendous job turning the page into a new future of WT football during a 35-16 win against Azusa Pacific. 

Hughes has built his program from scratch. He’s taken grief for recruiting four-year freshman, students that do things the right way, and not filling his roster with junior college players.

Entering year three, Hughes and his staff have a football team that the alumni, boosters and the fanbase can be proud of. A team that can now compete in the Lone Star Conference.



It says a lot that this team won its first opener in six years while snapping a four-year losing skid to the Cougars. The Buffs hit the Cougars in the mouth in the second half with their great defensive play and a punishing offensive line that paved the way to a 200 yard rushing night.  A tip of the cap also goes out to the students and the Maroon Platoon who didn’t leave after the win. The Buff players stampeded to celebrate with their peers for a good 10 minutes following the win. It was the perfect night for a football program that needed just that. A night to remember. 


The student section and Maroon Platoon celebrated with the Buffs after the win over Azusa Pacific.

This win even meant more to Hughes than trying to set a new winning standard. His parents, Jack and Theresa, were on the sideline as usual. After the game, Hughes was able to share the special moment handing the game ball to his father, Jack, who turned 75-years old Saturday, 

As for Hughes’ status at WT,  the hard-nosed coach has notched a couple of big wins in his tenure. He beat his former team, Colorado State-Pueblo in 2017, and Angelo State last year, yet there hasn’t been that win Hughes can sign his name to. That changed Saturday.


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