West Virginia University
1 Jan
Wow, talk about amazing! Today was just plain awesome, enough said. The game was amazing, our shows were amazing. Today started out with breakfast, quite a good one too, and then we loaded up the buses to head to the Gator Bowl. When we pulled into the stadium, we were welcomed by hundreds of screaming fans! It was so cool to see so many people awaiting your arrival. We then went to the pep rally outside the stadium. That was really neat seeing all the people that came to cheer us, and the team to victory. There were lots of cheers, songs, and yelling to get pumped for the game. After that was over, we found our seats in the stands and got situated until it came time for pre-game. We descended into the tunnels under the stadium to prepare for our show. It was there that we ran into Georgia Tech?s marching band. We quietly passed them and took our spot in the line up. Some people talked with GT?s band but most of us kept to ourselves. Then it was show time. We walked onto the sidelines and took our places and waited for GT?s band to finish their show. As they did, we took our spots as the drumline performed the Boogie Cadence, and then it was time. With four drum clicks and the shouts of ?1, 2, READY GO!!? we ran onto the field into the infamous ?Simple Gifts Circles? the noise was incredible. I thought it was loud and Mountaineer Field, but it was nothing compared to the noise I heard that day in Jacksonville. When the trumpets did their fanfare, I kneeled there and just took it all in, it was amazing, but soon enough we took off to finish ?Simple Gifts? and launched straight into ?Country Roads.? Of course I knew the crowd would go nuts when we formed the state, and of course they did. I couldn?t help but smile. As we cut off our last note and the crowd went wild, I was knocked out again; it was like nothing I had ever imagined it would be like. When we left the field I looked at my friends and we were all like, ?That was AMAZING!!!? We couldn?t stop talking about it. Then the game began. The first half left us all a little disheartened, but we kept the faith that our Mountaineers would prevail. Halftime came and we again took the field and knocked another home run of a show. It was great. Before the show, my rank am I all got together and did our rank cheer one last time, as it will be the last time that we all would march together in one rank, it was kind of sad. Nevertheless, we all did excellent and made the show the best. The second half of the game was amazing! It was like an entirely different team took the field. We were cheering and going crazy for every first down, every field goal, every caught pass, and every touchdown. We yelled even louder for the interception, and the recovered kickoff fumble by Georgia Tech. When we pulled ahead we were going crazy. Then it came down to the final few seconds of the game, and if we would clinch the first down, we would win the game. We were all on the edge of our seats and the ball was snapped and ran for a FIRST DOWN!!! and a GATOR BOWL VICTORY!!! There were so many Mountaineer fans that day, and every one of them let out a huge yell as that ball made it for the first down. We were all jumping up and down and going positively crazy. We couldn?t believe it, we had finally won the Gator Bowl!! We played ?Country Roads? in celebration, and we cheered as Coach Rod lifted up the Gator Bowl trophy and we were ecstatic. The day ended very well for the West Virginia Mountaineers. We had traveled 16 hours on a bus to Florida, braved the heat and rain, and came out victorious in the end, as we all knew we would. That night we proved once again that the West Virginia Mountaineers are true champions indeed.

Well, I hope that everyone loved to read my blog, I know I loved to write it and to fill you in about what we were up to down in Florida. I hope through me, those of you stuck at home could get a feel for what it was like here. I have enjoyed every moment of this trip, from band rehearsals, to playing on the beach on New Years Eve, to the Gator Bowl victory, it has been one of the very best weeks of my life, one that I will cherish in my heart forever, and it has been a privilege and an honor to share it with you. I thank you again so much for reading, now?

LET?S GO MOUNTAINEERS!!

And may everyone have a happy and prosperous new year. Only seven and a half or so months until football season!

1 Lorraine C-L | Jan 3 at 1:41 am

lb, this was an excellent blog, and i enjoyed reading it. this recap of the game gave me chills all over again.

2 becky lofstead | Jan 3 at 9:32 am

Lauren: Your blog has been a pleasure to read...you are so genuine and everything you write seems to come from your heart. Thanks for sharing your experiences and memories with all of us - and we look forward to your video diary segments as your freshman year continues. Your friend, Becky Lofstead

3 Lori Coleman | Jan 3 at 1:03 pm

Lauren - I'm so glad that you had a good trip and the Mountineers won!! Sounds like you had lots of fun with your friends. You are fun to be traveling with.... Leave it to you to identify the types of donosours on the "grassy park" ride.

4 heather | Jan 5 at 11:42 pm

lauren! i loved your blog...it was like i was on the trip all over again! that was the best trip ever!i had soo much fun with you and everybody! i will always remember new years eve on the beach...that was one thing that i never thought that i would do...it was soo much fun...love you!!! ~heather

5 Christopher Willis | Jan 9 at 9:10 am

It was great to read about your experience. This bowl victory is a great testament to our university. It was truly a great day to be a Mountaineer. Chris Willis Montaini Semper Liberi

6 Jill Nowacek | Jan 11 at 2:28 pm

Your blog was awesome.. And it was really cool reading about. I was there and everything was so true. We were going crazy for the band. When the third quarter came around some people around us were about to give up and leave and when the game turned around everyone went wild! The game itself was just a small part of the experience of a bowl game though. Walking on the beach two days before the game hearing people yell "Let's Go" whenever we walked past anyone in gold in blue was awesome too. We even talked to locals and they loved seeing all the fans that traveled with team. Jacksonville on New Years was insane too! Let's Go Mountaineers!

7 Mary and Aunt Debi | Feb 18 at 1:57 pm

Dear Laruen, My mother just did a google search on you and we found this! Cool! I just got my acceptance letter to HACC! And I am most likely going to be working as an actress at the PA Ren Faire! Luv Mary. Hi Lauren, Your mom said you just signed a lease for an apartment for next fall. Welcome to the adult world! Aunt Debi

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