Wednesday, December 8, 2021

UM students make their own traditions in Starkville

By Chris Richardson, Hannah Johnson, Emily Reib, Austin Green, MK Hale

IMC Students

Thursday night’s Egg Bowl means some Ole Miss students will be on the field in Starkville and not at home with their families. But the big game against Mississippi State still allows those students to celebrate the holiday in a special way.

“It is kind of weird for me because I was so used to being with my family and being around my family,” says quarterback and wide receiver John Rhys Plumlee. “The Egg Bowl is amazing, though. It is the only thing that is on the TV on Thanksgiving, so you know everyone is watching. The last one I played in, we won, and it was amazing.”

As someone who values family and friendship, Plumlee looks forward to taking the time to show his thanks for more than just his athletic abilities.

“Thanksgiving, to me, is the celebration of the things that I am thankful for,” he says. “I can get so caught up in school, ball or so many different things that I don’t take a step back and appreciate the position I am in. I am truly blessed and thankful.”

Also on the road for Thanksgiving will be The Pride of the South band. Drum major Dalton Gibson is also excited for what Thanksgiving on the road will bring.

Gibson, a grad school student, has celebrated the past several years with the Pride of the South, and his family has arranged their celebrations around that schedule. 

“When I first got to Ole Miss and had to miss Thanksgiving because of the Egg Bowl,” says Gibson, “it was kind of weird because I had never missed Thanksgiving with my family. But now that I have done it for so many years, it has gotten better, and my family just does our Thanksgiving on Wednesday so that I can celebrate with everyone.”

Gibson grew up spending Thanksgiving watching the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade at his grandparents’ house, but now he celebrates in a new way. The band each year has a Thanksgiving meal for the Egg Bowl, and this year will be no different.

“We get to eat Thanksgiving food at State in their cafeteria when we travel there, so I get to eat and spend Thanksgiving with my band family, which is honestly the best,” he says. “They’re my second family so I love spending time with them.” 

Grace Gowen, current marching band member, also enjoys the camaraderie the holiday brings. 

“I think one of the better traditions for us,” she says, “is spending Thanksgiving together with all of our best friends at the game.”