GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — A photo of bare stands at a Union High School football game has garnered hundreds of comments on social media, but change is expected Friday night.
After the photo was posted, a Facebook event titled “Fill the Stands, WestSiders! Union High School Football” emerged.
Players Charbert Fitz and Frank McKnight told 24 Hour News 8 they’re excited to see so many community members rallying around the team, but admitted it’s hard not to notice a lack of fans in the bleachers.
“When you run to the sidelines, you just can’t help but look and see that there’s nobody’s there,” said McKnight.
“It is sometimes a difficult thing to see,” head coach Rick Angstman said ahead Friday’s game against Muskegon.
Angstman said the photo that went viral online was snapped at an away game against Reeths-Puffer. He explained that because of their conference, most of the team’s games are in the Muskegon area.
“Some of the times it’s difficult for our population, parents and stuff, to take the hour drive out to the shoreline,” he said.
McKnight, a running back, said he’s hoping to get a second wind from a roaring crowd at Friday’s game.
“Whenever you hear all that noise you get ‘the feel’ inside. You just get jumping,” he said.
Fitz, a sophomore linebacker, agreed the team would benefit greatly from some Redhawk pride.
“Even though we have cheerleaders, the fans give us extra confidence to go into a game because we’re not just doing it for the team,” Fitz said.
Angstman says this season has been a year of building up the program because the team has as many freshmen as seniors.
Kickoff is scheduled for 7 p.m. at Houseman Field in Grand Rapids.