Sept. 8, 2009
WASHINGTON, D.C. - Back in high school, Georgetown University sophomore defensive back Wayne Heimuli (Euless, Texas/Trinity) grew up playing football in one of the most electric atmospheres in the country. Friday night football games in Texas are as American as apple pie. And Heimuli grew up playing under those Friday Night Lights.
This weekend, Heimuli and his Georgetown teammates will get a taste of that as the Hoya football team (0-1, 0-1 Patriot League) hosts Lafayette on Saturday night, Sept. 12 at the Multi-Sport Field. Kickoff on the Hilltop is slated for 6 p.m., the first night football game at Georgetown's home field.
After last week's tough 20-7 loss to Patriot League favorite Holy Cross, a game in which the Blue and Gray entered the fourth quarter with a 7-6 lead, the outcome of that game was a bitter pill to swallow, but the players knew they had something to look forward to this weekend.
"It kind of brings people back to their high school memories, the whole Friday Night Lights thing," Heimuli said. "Most of the team is really hungry for this game because we felt we should have won that game (Holy Cross) and everyone on this team knows we should have. Everyone is hungry for a win.
"It's going to be crazy. Just being able to play under the lights like we did in high school, it's going to be a good experience. It may not be Friday Night Lights, but it could be Saturday Night Fever."
His teammates echoed that sentiment.
"We can't wait," senior captain Dan Matheny (Fairfax, Va./Paul VI) said. "We absolutely can't wait. We've been talking about this one for a long time."
"One of the greatest things about playing high school football is playing Friday night games," junior running back Geoffrey Schnorr (Wappinger Falls, N.Y./Roy C. Ketcham) said. "You don't get a lot in college, so getting a chance to play at night is something to look forward to."
The thoughts of playing on Saturday night came quick for the Hoyas. As the buses made their way back from Massachusetts after the game, the players had the chance to watch games on television and seeing teams playing under the lights made them realize what they could look forward to this weekend.
"We're extremely excited," Schnorr said. "It's kind of weird, as much as were upset about the loss, it wasn't too long before we started watching games on the way back and people started talking about Saturday night and playing Lafayette. It took a little while to get the Holy Cross game out of your head, but once we did, that's the first thing that came to my mind."
"On the way back, we were all disappointed we lost, obviously," Heimuli said. "We thought we should have won and we want to come out this weekend and show everyone what we can do."
The fact that the night game is also the team's home opener adds to the excitement.
"It's one of those things that we know there are going to be a lot more people here because it's our first game," Heimuli said. "Since it's a night game, our classmates will be here and there will be lot of friends and family here, so we're excited to show them what we can do."
Monday was the first day of practice after the Holy Cross loss, but there was a great sense of energy on the field.
"You get hyped up, that's for sure," Matheny said. "We're going to practice at night on Thursday to get used to being under the lights. We've been itching to play this one. Especially after the tough loss this weekend, we felt like if we executed a bit better....we had the team that's picked to be the best in the league on the ropes for three quarters.
"There's a lot of confidence in this team. We took our day yesterday to be disappointed. Guys were at home thinking a lot about it. We came out today and ran it out of us and we're ready to go for Lafayette."