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UVA football team is hopeful for a return to normalcy

Published: Aug. 30, 2021 at 6:47 PM EDT
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CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (WVIR) - For the first time since December, 2020 it’s officially game week and for the first time since November of 2019, a full-capacity crowd will be able to enter Scott Stadium.

“I hope it is exactly normal,” UVA Head Coach Bronco Mendenhall said. “I hope all the protocols necessary for people to have an amazing game day experience and be safe are in place,” he said.

With William and Mary scheduled to take a trip to Charlottesville on Saturday, Mendenhall is looking forward to what he hopes will be a normal game day in Charlottesville.

“I hope people can unite, celebrate and enjoy rooting for their team and in all the same traditions and bring those back they’ve always had,” he said.

For players, like Anthony Johnson, a transfer from Louisville, there’s an excitement heading into the home opener.

“A lot of energy and excited to be out there in Scott Stadium with the guys and just excited to see how it is,” he said.

For Coach Mendenhall, playing well at home needs to be the standard and Saturday will mark the first opportunity to do just that.

“I don’t think you can build championship-caliber teams and nationally prominent teams without being exceptional at home,” he said.

Johnson says this team is hungry to take the field. “We’re ready and excited to do whatever it takes to have a season and to have fans there.”

Mendenhall says that includes following the university’s COVID-19 vaccination requirement.

“That would be 100% are expected to be vaccinated and we do have, I believe it’s three, that number might now be two players, that received waivers for either medical or religious exemptions” Mendenhall said.

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