New Oxford opener designed to be a community event
The New Oxford football team's home opener against Delone Catholic Friday will offer fans much more than just football.
The school's athletic department and football booster club have prepared an elaborate pregame tailgate featuring food trucks, product vendors and games for kids. There will also be fireworks when the Colonials take the field, followed by a full 17-minute fireworks show following the game.
The tailgate is scheduled to begin at 4:30 p.m. Friday, prior to the game's 7 p.m. start. Attractions will include a mechanical bull, inflatable bounce house, 65-foot obstacle course and inflatable jousting. Food options will include Chick-fil-A, Dickey's Barbecue and Joe Bury's Famous Hamburgers.
"We're trying to change the entire athletic culture," first-year New Oxford athletic director Brandon Renoll said. "We want to get the community involved and set an example that we appreciate the student-athletes and write a new chapter in this school district."
The Colonials won just two games combined the past two seasons and are trying to turn things around under new coach, Greg Bowman.
The Colonials are still searching for their first win this season, but Renoll hopes this game will create a buzz around the team. He credited the football booster club, especially co-presidents Derek Romanoff and Lisa Bean and vice president Danielle Romanoff, for working tirelessly the last few months to put the event together.
Derek Romanoff said the booster club had kicked around the idea of a pregame tailgate last season, but that things started to move forward when Bowman was hired in January. He listed Mike Sanford, Brenda Rolle, Jackie Angleberger, Missy Noel, Jennifer Luckabaugh, and Bill Huffman as individuals who have been instrumental in putting the event together.
"We wanted to incorporate the entire school district, bring everybody together, and we thought what better idea than to have this ultimate tailgate," Derek Romanoff said. "We hope people looking for something to do Friday will see this and say, 'Let's check out these fireworks, watch a football game and get something good to eat.'"
The school and the booster club hope the tailgate turns into an annual event. As for Friday, those who organized it are hoping for a packed house.
"It's one night, but it will bring a tremendous crowd," Renoll said. "For me personally, my goal is for it to be standing room only."
The game between the Squires and the Colonials will also be livestreamed on the Delone Catholic Broadcasting Network. You can watch the stream here.
Here are some of the vendors and food trucks that will be in attendance Friday night:
Joe Bury's Famous Hamburgers
Diner on the Go
3 Hogs BBQ
Snyder's of Hanover
There will also be numerous product vendors and consultants at the tailgate, including:
United Hook & Ladder Company #33
David Ross Orthodontics