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Photo by Mychal Kersting
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UMD Freshman Get First Chance to Support Sports Teams at In-Person Games

University of Maryland freshmen — alongside their upper classmates — got their first chance to sit in the stands at an in-person sports game as an official Terp in April. These are the first in-person games that fans have had the opportunity to attend since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“It feels like I am a little bit more personal [with] this team . . . it feels a little closer because now I got a kid, pitching the same age as me. It definitely feels like I'm represented a little more,” freshman journalism major Mychal Kersting said. 

While fans are allowed to go to these games, they do not look quite the same as they did before the pandemic. Games before the pandemic were packed full of fans but now, only a limited number of fans are allowed to go to each game. Uushers counted each person as they entered to make sure games didn’t exceed their capacity limit. Fans were also required to wear masks and social distance while in the crowd.

Some students found new benefits to these limited capacity games that were not there before the pandemic. 

“It's a lot more vocal on a college baseball field than maybe if it was full attendance, you wouldn't be able to hear as well. You could hear a lot of the bands or a lot of the jargon,” Kersting said about his experience at a limited capacity baseball game this spring. 

These new in-person sports games are allowing students, particularly freshmen, to experience things they have never seen or heard before at college games. They are getting to see the players and the overall event on a more personal level. They are getting to go out and support their fellow UMD students while having the chance to experience events that have been missing from everyday college life for a year. 

“I got to hang out with my friends and do something other than schoolwork, which was really nice and got to cheer on my school for the first time as actually being a student . . . I feel so happy being in this really positive space,” freshman finance student Victoria Sands said.

Katherine Mahoney is from Olney, Maryland and is studying at University of Maryland’s Philip Merrill College of Journalism. Katherine looks forward to gaining a more in-depth perspective on the field of journalism and hone her journalistic abilities in order to give voice to those who remain without in our ever-connected society.
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