Game Day: An inside look with the Chants in N. Dakota

WaynnneeLocal sports writer, broadcaster, and all around CCU supporter Wayne White is traveling to Fargo, North Dakota this weekend for the Chanticleers quarterfinal round matchup against the top-seeded North Dakata State University Bison in the FCS playoffs on Saturday at noon (ET). He’s agreed to document his journey for Grand Strand Sports Report. What follows is his day by day account.

SATURDAY, DECEMBER 14, 11:25 a.m.
Pretty uneventful morning so far.  Early wake-up for the players for team breakfast and position meetings.  Then it was on the buses and off to the Fargodome.  As I walked around the arena and looked outside, there was a sea of yellow waiting to flood the arena.  These NDSU fans, especially the student section are ready for this quarterfinal matchup.  The only telling thing that has happened so far actually took place before the teams took the field for pregame warmups.  NDSU Head Coach Craig Bohl and CCU Defensive Coordinator Clayton Carlin, who served on the University of Nebraska staff together, stood at midfield talking.  When Coach Bohl, who has already announced that he will be the new Head Coach at Wyoming, left the field, the student section broke into a standing ovation.  There had been quite a bit of discussion about the “welcome” that Coach Bohl would receive.  Seems like the fans are taking the high road and Cioach Bohl ran around the edge of the stands high fiving his team’s supporters.

SATURDAY, DECEMBER 14, 12:30 a.m.
It has been a very busy time since landing in Fargo and internet access has been limited.  In fact, as I write this, I am hoping that the signal does not drop as much as it has the last 30 minutes while trying to upload some photos.

After the short drive from the airport to the Fargodome, it was a quick run through the frigid wind and snow into the warmth of the “Thunderdome.”  The players were going through their normal practice preparation while the support staff and coaches scoped out the lay of the land.  Coach Joe Moglia was immediately giving interviews while Matt Hogue, the Voice of the Chanticleers, was off to climb to the top of the dome to check out his vantage point during the game.  The practice went off without any issues and it was easy to see that the CCU players were both loose and ready for the task at hand.  That task will have the team facing the #1 defense in the FCS and the #1 ranked team.

Once the players left for the hotel, Joe Cashion, Lane Harris, Matt Hogue and I awaited delivery of the broadcasting equipment so that we could set up for the big game.  While waiting, we were asked to leave the playing areas as NDSU’s coach required practice’s to be closed.  So, out the back door and into the snow we went.  But, not for long as the equipment arrived and back inside and up he elevator we went.  I guess they either decided that we were not looking to spy on their game planning or simply did not want to have to take the time to climb all of those stairs to ask us to leave again.  So, we count that as victory #1 on the weekend!

Following the set-up and testing of equipment and phone lines, it was off to find some food and eventually the hotel.  Hogue, who had given plenty of interviews during the week to local talk shows, had been invited by a restaurant owner to stop by for dinner.  So, off we headed to the Cork and Clever.  To our enjoyment, what we found was a great restaurant with excellent service and even better steaks!  We finally headed to the Days Inn in Moorhead, Minnesota, just a quick drive to the opposite side of the Red River of the North.  After checking in, we joined a few supporters and coaches in the hospitality area and spent a couple of hours talking.  That was about all for the night as it was too cold to go outside anywhere and we all have an early day with kick-off being at 11:00 a.m. CT.

FRIDAY, DECEMBER 13, 12:10 p.m.
So, once again I find myself at the airport awaiting a flight to a frozen tundra out West. Last week, it was the beautiful land of Missoula, Montana. This week, it is Fargo, North Dakota. Of course, my hope is that the result of this trip will be equal to the thrills of last weekend. A win by the Coastal Carolina football team will not only again shock the world, but it will also land the Chanticleers in the FCS semifinals!

As a long time University employee, member of the Athletic Hall of Fame, and simply a huge CCU fan, this run is about as exciting as it gets. Even better on this trip is that we will be playing in a dome and I will be on the field taking photos for the athletic department. i am very interested in finding out if the noise of the Fargodome, also known as the Thunderdome, can get louder than Grizzlie Stadium.  My guess is yes since we will be indoors but those Montana fans could loosen your ear drums!

Time to board the plane and travel with the Chants to Fargo.  More updates later from practice inside the dome!

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