Back and Better Than Ever: The Dubs Make a Glorious Return to Grady Stadium

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Mady Mertens

Welcome Back Warriors: The Dubs show out in full luau attire to demonstrate their support at the first football game to have a student section in nearly two years. The Warriors took home the dub, winning the opening-season game 10-7 against Wheeler High School.

For the first time in almost two years, the Dubs fanbase has returned to Grady Stadium (now renamed E. Henderson Stadium aka the Hendy). Following a spectator-less season last year, the very first home football game of the 2021 season had been a long-awaited event. With a luau theme and hundreds of students filled with a whole lot of spirit for the Dubs, it was bound to be an incredible student section.

The 2019-2020 football season was one for the books. From making playoffs (and making history), to incredible themes, to honoring our fellow Warrior, Catherine Williams, the season perfectly embodied the spirit of the Warriors. However after COVID-19 turned everyone’s world upside down, APS made the call to ban all fans (family included) from all APS sporting events for the 2020-2021 school year (they later allowed fans at spring sporting events). Not only was this new rule heartbreaking for players and their families, but also for the students and the senior class, especially. However, after 21 long months, the Dubs gloriously returned to the cement stands this past Friday to cheer on the football team to victory for the season-opening home game that was finished with a close final score of 10-7. 

The Dubs got a taste of the stadium magic last spring when the boys soccer team competed in the final four soccer game at Hendy Stadium. Fully dressed for the theme and with an energetic student section, the soccer game was certainly fun. But, let’s be honest, there is nothing like football, Friday Night Lights, and a full WARRZONE. “The soccer game was so fun and it was amazing to get a taste of the student section. However, nothing compares to the football student sections,” said junior Virginia Odom. “Everyone is dressed up for the theme and the energy is just incredible. There’s really nothing like it.” 

So after months of waiting, the Friday night light fanatics returned to Grady Stadium. Needless to say, it was like they had never left. Dressed head to toe in luau attire with arguably one of the biggest student sections ever, the first game back was a smashing success. This game was especially meaningful to the senior class. “I’ve looked forward to going to football games as a senior ever since I was a freshman,” said senior and Spirit Club co-president Josie Bird. “Leading the rollercoaster during halftime is a NAHS tradition so finally being one of the people to lead it was yet another surreal part about being a high school senior.”

So whether you’re a student, player, cheerleader, or parent, one thing can be agreed upon by all: it’s great to back. Consider this your official, “Welcome Back” Warriors! And as always, Go Dubs!