The Robertson Athletic Complex will host the annual homecoming game where the Allegheny Gators will face Kenyon College on the Frank B. Fuhrer Field at 1 p.m as part of the Blue and Gold Weekend.

Alumni, current students, staff, faculty and families will take part in the homecoming festivities. To kick off the weekend, sororities and fraternities will be performing at the  annual Greek Sing  event Friday at 7 p.m. in Shafer Auditorium. The Blue and Gold weekend will consist of open house events, cookouts, tailgates and philanthropy events.

The bulk of the weekend activities will take place on Saturday, leading up to the football game. The annual TailGator Luncheon will take place prior to the game, starting at 11:30 a.m.

Last year, the football team had their first victory of the season during the homecoming game and are hoping to repeat that tradition.

“My favorite homecoming memory is our win on homecoming last year. For a lot of the young players on the team, it was their first win at Allegheny, while for the upperclassmen, it was our first win since 2014,” Andrew Murphy, ’18, said. “Seeing how happy everyone was after the game, both the fans and the players, is something I’ll always remember.”

Murphy said the team is not going to be phased by previous game performances, and are focusing on their strengths.

“I think we are going to play well. Even though we lost last week at Wittenberg, I think we showed a lot of positive signs on both sides of the ball,” Murphy said. “We need to build off the positives this week. I think I can speak for the team too when I say that we are motivated to have a good game for homecoming.”

The Gators’ winning record has also influenced the atmosphere surrounding the football games this year, according to cheerleader Willa Jones Irwin, ’21.

“It’s really exciting to be cheering for a winning team,” Jones Irwin said. “At the last home game it was really surprising that we won and the girls and players were really hyped up. The crowd was really excited at the end of the game and it was exciting to see them run off the field.”

The younger players have helped contribute to the team’s success this year, according to Murphy.

“So far, it has been a successful season. There are definitely a few games that we think we should have played better in, but there are so many positives to take from the first six games of our season. Statistically speaking, we are better in almost every category than we were last year,” Murphy said. “A lot of the underclassmen have made tremendous strides from where they were last year too. So far, I think we’ve definitely shown people that Allegheny football is trending upwards, and there is more confidence in the program than I’ve ever experienced in my four years here. Overall, it’s been a good year, and we certainly hope to finish out the season strong.”

The events for this weekend change the atmosphere of the game, according to Murphy. Murphy described the team’s motivation for a win and the impact returning alumni have on the team’s mindset.

“The thing I am most looking forward to this weekend is the crowd. We usually get pretty strong crowds for our homecoming games, and it’s a wonderful feeling to see many of your friends and classmates cheering you on in the stands,” Murphy said. “Homecoming also brings back a lot of alumni, including a lot of graduated football players who endured some tough seasons. They definitely deserve to see a good game from us, and I know it will mean a lot to them if we can get a win. I think the atmosphere of homecoming does change the team’s mindset going into the game. There’s definitely some added inspiration to perform well in front of the big crowd. Everyone wants to win, but I think everyone wants to win on homecoming just a little bit more.”

Alumni and family visiting is on everyone’s minds for this Blue and Gold weekend, according to Jones Irwin.

“I’m excited to see all the alumni, because all the girls on the team have said it’s a really big deal for alumni to come back and see everyone. I’m also happy to see everyone’s families and parents,” Jones Irwin said.

Cody Wendt, ’19, echoed Murphy’s description of last year’s game, being the first win of his college football career. He said it was his favorite memory.

“I feel pretty great about this weekend’s game,” Wendt said. “We have been working hard all week, and we need to come out ready to play. I feel like this season has been a huge turning point for our football program.”

This homecoming will be a little stressful for the cheerleaders, according to Jones Irwin.

“We just learned a new halftime show and that is a lot more pressure for a small squad, especially when there will be more fans at this game since its homecoming,” Jones Irwin said.

Despite the stress, Jessica Parkinson, ’20, is excited to cheer at the homecoming game.

“Honestly, if I could put you in my shoes, everyone would want to cheer,” Parkinson said. “Cheering for a winning team gives you [an] extraordinary, euphoric feeling.”

The Gators are hoping for a season victory this weekend.