Savannah State Football has ushered in a new, more entertaining era in 2019 thanks to its first winning season since 1998. Savannah State played their last home game of the season against Fort Valley State beating them handily in front of a large crowd, thereby securing the SIAC East Regular season title.
Head Coach Shawn Quinn, who has appreciated the importance of a rowdy home crowd for this year’s team success, said, “It takes a village to raise a kid and it takes a city to build a championship program. We want everyone to be a Tiger fan and with us winning, hopefully that will continue to grow”.
The coach took to Twitter to urge student, alumni, and community members to show up in support for the Tigers. “Our #TEAM needs your support this weekend. This has been a special season we our playing for our city, our campus, our alumni, past and present players.”
SSU experienced a two year high in attendance at their homecoming game against Albany State with over 8,000 fans showing up to support, making it clear that the Tigers have rekindled orange and blue pride in both the students and the community.
Junior KeyShawna Barnes said, “Energy and attendance were both really high; I wasn’t expecting so many people to show up but so many came out and it really made it a high intensity atmosphere.”
In its 2019 season, Savannah State has had an average of 5247 attendees at their home games, up nearly 600 from 2018 in which they averaged only 4649 attendees pers game. This is even more of a leap from 2017 when the school only had an average attendance of 4261 individuals at home games.
After a season of dominating in the SIAC and going undefeated in conference play, the players and coaches aren’t the only ones rejuvenated by the team’s recent success. Students at the university say they have felt the shift in culture as the 2019 Tigers “protected the marsh” to the tune of a 3-1 home record.
Freshman Caleb Fort said, “The games I went to had a different type of energy, because folks knew we could really win, and it made it a lot more fun to be there, for sure.”
Despite a dominant regular season in the SIAC conference, the Tigers will not be able to pursue a postseason championship. This is a penalty that is a result of multiple NCAA infractions on SSU athletics.