Wednesday, July 6, 2022

Carleigh’s Corner: Everything Leads to College GameDay

By Carleigh Holt

HottyToddy Intern

The past week led up to a big football weekend, which had several events planned in anticipation of ESPN’s College GameDay visit. A sense of “normality” returned to the Ole Miss campus with the Grove filled with tents and the sight of phone flashlights around a football stadium at night. 

On Tuesday and Friday, I attended both mens’ basketball games, which ended in Ole Miss victories. I was sitting on the court during both games, taking in the atmosphere of the Pavilion. Basketball and football season during the same time can be stressful with several games during the week, but it is fun. 

College GameDay arrived on Saturday for the the Ole Miss-Texas A&M game, the first time since 2014 that the ESPN crew had visited the campus. I did not attend College GameDay, but I was sent many pictures of what I missed that morning, including the signs with memes.  I arrived on campus around 2:30 to photograph all the sights of the Grove. I couldn’t decide if the Grove was busier for this game or for the Ole Miss-LSU matchup since both had been highly anticipated. 

While waiting for the Walk of Champions, I was near the front and fans were throwing a football across one side of the sidewalk to the other. When the bus arrived, I started taking each player’s picture walking instead of following Lane Kiffin like some of the other photographers. 

I walked behind the team on the Walk of Champions, taking pictures of fans along the way. And I enjoyed visiting with my family, who came to experience their first Ole Miss football game and the Grove. They picked a great game to attend, filled with an electric crowd and phone flashlights illuminating the stadium before “Lock the Vaught.”  The stadium was the prettiest I have seen it this season with all those phone flashlights brightening the night. 

Carleigh Holt photographing a basketball game. Photo by: Elijah Dosda
People standing in front of Vaught-Hemingway Stadium. (Left to Right): Aidan Holt, Susan Holt, Damien Harbin, Carleigh Holt, Tammy Holt, Landon Phillips, Michaela Holt, and Randy Holt
Carleigh Holt’s view of the pregame show of Ole Miss vs Texas A&M. Photo by: Carleigh Holt; Sports Illustrated
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