NC football rivalry alive at Peace

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By Adanya Day

If you live in the south, Saturday means a lot more than just a day off of work. For many southerners, Saturday means college football.

College football is just the way of daily life down here. With millions and millions of viewers tuning in to watch their favorite teams duke it out in a stadium filled to the brim with students and parents it’s not hard to see why it’s such a big deal. Here in North Carolina there are a multitude of rivalries, but none looms quite as large as the UNC, NC State rivalry.

In the 2022 season, when the two teams played in Chapel Hill, Kenan Stadium reached 99% of its capacity, with 50,500 people in attendance. During this game, NC State upset the then no.18 ranked UNC in a 30-27 game. This year, the two powerhouses will rematch Nov. 28 in what will seem to most like a cage match with UNC ranking number 14 this season.

As a small DIII school with no football, many Peace students find their allegiances with college football teams nearby, most popular teams being you guessed it: UNC and NC State. No matter which colors you rep on Saturday, be it red and black or Carolina blue and white many at Peace agree that their allegiances began with their parents.

Taryn Shelton is a William Peace University junior and avid UNC fan.

“My dad has been a fan for awhile and has had season tickets for UNC for 15 years, so I grew up going to the games,” says Shelton.

For others it’s based on location. UNC and NC State are a mere 30 minute drive from one another which only enhances the rivalry as the winner each year now gets bragging rights of sorts. So whether you live closer to the Raleigh location of NC State or the Chapel Hill/Durham location of UNC can dictate which team you’ll root for.

Photo by Adanya Day

In an informal survey of Peace students, many choose their team based on which is closest to Peace or based on the fact that they went to a particular team’s games while growing up. Even more interesting is that it seems like a majority of Peace students prefer NC State football. This seems to be a matter of location for many.

Out of the 25 responses on the survey, g 64.7% of Peace students chose NC State football over UNC, with the same statistic being true when it comes to which teams parents prefer.

Sam Cusic, a freshman at Peace, commented saying that NC State is a lot closer.

“I’m from Maryland and I remember my dad always watching their games,” says Cusic. “Once I got to Peace and realized how close NC State was I began to go to the tailgates and games.”

Others have their own reasons. Grayson Scott, a sophomore, said he preferred any football team over UNC. Marti Maguire, a professor, got her masters degree from UNC, so she roots for the Tar Heels.

Whether you rep black and red or blue and white, it seems that for many at Peace students just enjoy the environment that comes with having a football team.

Despite not having a football team, many Peace students still feel as though they have one due to being able to attend other college football games around Raleigh. So no matter which team colors you decide to wear it’s apparent that in the South and at WPU, football is just a major part of weekend life.