In the center circle of Eagle Field, the Cobras kicked off the 44th annual Turkey Bowl soccer championship with Koby Rojo’s (Fr., TN) pass back to Benjamin Hatcher (Sr., TN).
As the chilly evening drew on, fans reached for blankets and beach towels they had laid out earlier to save their spots. Their breath visible over their steaming styrofoam cups, fans waited to witness the first goal. Would it be by the Vikings or the Cobras?
Freshman Ruthy Venegas (AZ) described her first Turkey Bowl experience in one word, “Intense.” Her sophomore friend, Kaylee Callahan (FL) shared what she loved most about these games: “I love the team spirit and how this is the one time that everyone goes crazy for their teams.”
Cameryn Prisk (Jr., GA) said, “My friend is a Viking so I was pretty excited that they’re playing again.” She and a number of upperclassmen admitted that the halftime show is mainly the reason they came.
This year’s halftime show featured the Stunt Dog Productions, a group that has performed for NBA and NFL halftimes as well as popular TV shows. The pups truly did steal the evening. As one voice, the crowd ooh-ed and aww-ed as the stunt dogs sped down the field to catch frisbees mid-air. On cue from their trainers, they jumped, flipped, and trotted to music filtering in the background.
Two suspenseful halves of the game came and went, leaving one minute on the scoreboard. The Cobras and Vikings still stood at zero to zero. Then the announcer introduced two five-minute overtimes, which ending scoreless, led to a kick-off.
Thematic music faded out as the goalie loosened his arms and legs, readying himself as he studied the kicker. The Viking’s Seth Kenney (So., GA) shot his ball directly into the net, bringing the score to 8-7, and it wasn’t about to change. The Vikings had done it for a second time in a row—their first consecutive Turkey Bowl win for collegian history!
Viking coach Aaron Kenney (Jr., GA) thanked God for a great team this year. “He gifted each of these guys with incredible talent and then brought us together. They’re the last group of guys I’ll play organized soccer with, and I wouldn’t change them for anyone.”