Castine—As the fog lifted over Ritchie Field on the Maine Maritime Academy campus, Mariner football fans donned their blues and golds to cheer on their team on the second day of homecoming September 16.
The stands were filled with a mix of current students and alumni, all in attendance with the same goal in mind, to help their Mariners defeat the Buccaneers from Massachusetts Maritime Academy in the 45th annual Admiral’s Cup.
Also in the stands were plenty of folks who welcomed the opportunity to watch live, college football on a crisp, sunny Saturday afternoon.
Fans got to the field hours before kickoff, as the aroma of barbecue coated the air along Pleasant Street and the athletic grounds of the academy. Pleasant Street was closed off to vehicles, as alumni and students gathered for a hot dog or burger and conversation.
The Mariners and Buccaneers compete against each other in the Admiral’s Cup every year, and the winner brings home a trophy and year’s worth of bragging rights.
As the Mariners took the field for the first quarter, emphatic “Hoo-Ras” could be heard from the student section, as those in the Regimental program dressed in their uniforms cheered on their team. The team gave its fans something to cheer about early, scoring a touchdown less than five minutes into the game to take the lead. Mass. Maritime would answer with a scoring drive of its own, but that did not dampen the spirits of the crowd, who only got louder as the game continued, even when the Mariners went into halftime trailing 13-20.
At halftime, fans young and old took advantage of the entertainment and concessions around the athletic complex. A bounce house and slide were set up for the younger Mariner fans, while tables were available for fans to sit at an enjoy pulled pork sandwiches, chili dogs, macaroni and cheese and a slew of other goodies available from the Sodexo Dining Services tent.
The Mariners did not fare much better in the second half, as Mass. Maritime took the 34-25 win over the home team. For fans, though, the afternoon was about more than just football. Current students were able to experience the annual homecoming festivities, some for the first time, while alumni used the day as a chance to catch up with old classmates and reminisce on their years at the academy.