As Morningside cheerleaders danced around the fan zone to get game-goers pumped up, fans who traveled long distances couldn’t contain their excitement. Whether they were rooting for Morningside College or Marian University, fans unanimously agreed that Rome was the perfect place to host the contest.
Marian students Jerry Rigo and Trevor Svartoien, who would later enjoy a Marian University victory as their team won 30-27 in overtime, were tailgating across from the stadium and said they appreciated Rome for hosting the game and for also being hospitable.
“I really like it, but it’s a long drive from Indiana, where we go to school,” said Rigo. “I love all the people, they’re a lot politer. I always thought it was a rumor that people were nicer down here … but I kind of had my hopes up for a bigger downtown scene, I was hoping there would be a lot more bars.”
“Georgia is absolutely beautiful,” Svartoien said. “When we went for breakfast, everybody was nice. Everybody we’ve met from Georgia has been very welcoming, even the waitresses and the people at Waffle House. Y’all are nice.”
Marian students Cory Misacko and Chris Bromson said they liked the contrast between the small town atmosphere and city environment.
“We love it,” Misacko said. “The town has a small town feel but also kind of intricately designed. It really flourishes.”
“It’s pretty cool, I like Rome,” said Bromson. “It’s very homey and urban. Everyone is really nice, it’s awesome.”
Morningside alumni Mark and Robin Gambaiao said they drove 700 miles from Missouri to watch the game.
“We’re excited,” said Mark Gambaiao. “We’ve only been to one game this year. We live 400 miles away from Sioux City, so we’re alumni who came to the homecoming game earlier this year.”
He said he and his wife were looking forward to spending some time downtown after the game.
“We hit town at about 3 o’clock, we have an alumni event after the game, but my impression is the hospitality is unbelievable.”