Senior Day for the Miami Hurricanes football signifies two things. One, that this would be the last home game I photograph and two that this will be the last home game for the seniors on the team. It’s a little bittersweet as this senior class were freshman when I began to photograph Miami Hurricanes football games.
As I entered walked through the under belly of the stadium, I was replaying the season in my head. It felt like the season just flew by. Once I got into the photo room, I placed my bags down and I walked out onto the field to soak in the quietness one last time.
Last home game of the season #gocanes #stormtheswarm #beatgeorgiatech #hurricanesfootball #canesfootball #canes
After my little moment of nostalgia I headed out of the stadium to where the Miami Hurricanes team gets off of the bus. I always photograph the team right before they enter the stadium. The other photographers from the press and wire services always photograph the team as they leave the bus but I prefer my location as I have the cheerleaders in the shot along with a nice background of palm trees. I think it makes for a more interesting shot.
Prior to the game and the team running out onto the field, the University honored the seniors by having them run out through the smoke individually once last time to meet their family on the other side. It’s a nice gesture to honor what these kids have given on the field and off.
The game was a little back and forth in the beginning with each team trading touchdowns. As the 2nd quarter progressed the skies darkened and the rain began to fall. Then the skies just opened up and the rain was heavy and steady. It was so bad that the referees had to have a 30 minute delay in the game. It was just a blinding rain that was indiscriminate of who it soaked.
After the 30 minutes it was still raining but the teams came out onto the field to warm up prior to the game being resumed. I stayed up in the pressbox as the rain earlier had soaked me even with a poncho on.
After the rain subsided early in the 3rd quarter I made my way back onto the field. I saw that the tunnels were soaked but when I stepped onto the grass by the field my foot sunk down into ankle deep water. the field was just drenched with water. Players were slipping and sliding all over the field and the football was at times as well given all the fumbles that occurred in the 2nd half. I remember one play in the 4th quarter when the QB for Georgia Tech came running near the sideline where I was standing and Hurricanes LB Juwon Young tackled him and then he slid on his back right past me kicking up mud and water; both which made its way onto me of course.
Once the game was over I ran out onto the soggy field to photograph the coaches exchanging congratulations when I saw a fight breakout between Miami and Georgia Tech players. Being the one that always thinks before acting, I ran to the fray in hopes of getting a great shot not thinking that I’m 5’9″, 185 running next to guys 6’5″ + and well over 300 pounds. I didn’t get the shot but I was able to escape the brief fracas no worse for the wear.After the players began to empty out back to their lockerrooms, the seniors stayed on the field to take some Senior Day photos.
It was a good season to photograph the Miami Hurricanes football team. A lot of highs and lows. New experiences and lessons learned. Time to watch the months pass by until I’m on the sidelines again doing what I love.