As the Deacon Club aims to realize our vision of Developing Champions, we help provide operating support to our programs in addition to the many resources necessary for our student-athletes to succeed, which includes state-of-the-art facilities for both practice and competition. With that said, we also strive to create the ability for donors and fans to engage with our athletic programs through various events and travel opportunities.
This past fall season serves as a prime example of how the success of our teams can provide the ability to travel to unique destinations and partake in special events, surrounded by loyal Deacon fans. If there was ever any uncertainty as to how well Wake Forest fans travel, the 2016 Men’s Soccer College Cup and 2016 Military Bowl undoubtedly cleared it up.
As the men’s soccer team prepared to battle for the College Cup in Houston, the presence of Deacon fans could be felt before even leaving North Carolina, beginning at the Greensboro airport. Upon arriving in Houston, the contingent of fans only grew stronger. It was impossible to walk even ten steps without encountering another Deacon and exchanging an excited, “Go Deacs!”
Prior to the start of the semifinal game versus Denver, fans were able to gather for a memorable tailgate at the Streakin’ Deacon RV, which traveled all the way from Winston-Salem to show support and help boost the Wake Forest presence. After winning that first matchup to advance to the championship game, Deacon fans found themselves in Houston for a full day without a contest to be played.
The lack of a game didn’t stop Wake Forest supporters from keeping the energy level up, and if anything, raised it even higher. The extra time allowed for an event to be held at Little Woodrow’s, which drew in over 100 fans. Coach Bobby Muuss even stopped by to share his appreciation for the level of support on behalf of the program, commenting that it was obvious to the team that Wake Forest had the greatest number of fans in the stadium the previous day.
Come Sunday morning, Deacon fans showed up in full force to BBVA Compass Stadium, where they led cheers and chants throughout the duration of the game, relentless in their support. After the game had ended, it was extremely evident how lucky we are to have such great fans.
That feeling carried on and remained consistent as the football team headed to the Washington, D.C. area. The crowd of Wake Forest fans was 10,000 strong, all waving gold pom-poms, which was a fantastic tribute to our football team.
The event at City Tap House in downtown D.C. the night before the game drew in over 300 Wake Forest alumni, supporters and friends, all of whom were ecstatic about the following day. On the day of the game, the Wake Forest tailgate, combined with the supporting Streakin’ Deacon RV, saw approximately 1,000 fans! That level of support created a truly incredible atmosphere, which did not go unnoticed.
Not only was this our first bowl game since 2011, it was the first time ever that Wake has defeated a ranked opponent in a bowl game. To top it off, the football team finished the season with a winning record, sending our very own Big Daddy out in style and rewarding the efforts of Coach Clawson and his staff.
To all of our fans who have traveled near and far to show your support – we can’t thank you enough. With that said, let’s build off of our current momentum and continue to show a strong presence. As you begin to contemplate your spring plans, there will plenty of upcoming travel opportunities to exciting destinations that we hope you will consider as our winter and spring teams participate in their respective ACC Championship Tournaments:
· ACC Indoor Track & Field Championships – Feb. 23-25 – South Bend, IN
· ACC Women’s Basketball Tournament – March 1-5 – Conway, SC
· ACC Men’s Basketball Tournament – March 7-11 – Brooklyn, NY
· ACC Women’s Golf Championship – April 13-15 – Pawleys Island, SC
· ACC Men’s Golf Championship – April 21-23 – Clinton, SC
· ACC Tennis Championships – April 25-30 – Rome, GA
· ACC Outdoor Track & Field Championships – May 12-14 – Atlanta, GA
· ACC Baseball Championship – May 23-28 – Louisville, KY
Again, thank you to all of our loyal fans for the impressive support we’ve witnessed this fall. I look forward to seeing many of you at some of these upcoming destinations! Let’s make the Wake Forest presence be felt wherever we go!
(Note: This article was originally published in the February 2017 issue of Gold Rush.)