By Bridget Sjoberg | Staff Writer
Every home football game, members of the freshman class partake in one of Baylor’s most cherished traditions — running the Baylor Line.
Since 1970, freshmen have received a customized golden Baylor Line jersey and been able to run the length of the field before every home game, forming a tunnel to welcome and high-five the football team as they enter.
“The Baylor Line represents the commitment of Baylor fans everywhere to support and cheer on the Bears,” the Baylor website says.
Rushing out onto the football field with their class proves to be an unforgettable moment for Baylor freshmen, as well as for game attendees watching the sea of gold storm through the stadium.
This year’s freshman class appreciated the much anticipated tradition. They enjoyed the high-energy atmosphere of the game, and the chance to bond with their freshman class.
Burleson freshman Rachel Van Lear was surprised by the grand scale of the game and enjoyed the chants and sic ’em’s the crowd yelled behind the opposing team.
“There was so much happening around me, I was thinking ‘whoa there’s flames, what’s happening?’,” Van Lear said. “It was really exciting — I was in awe of everything. I loved the traditions and chants, especially the Star Wars one.”
Las Vegas freshman Jillian Bowers also noted how much she enjoyed the energy and enthusiasm present at the game and how the line was different than she had anticipated.
“It was super cool. It was a shorter run than I expected but I had a lot of fun,” Bowers said. “It was scary before when people are pushing behind you, but once you get out there it’s really exciting.”
Lake Forest, Calif. freshman Karli Campbell said that running the Line is her favorite Baylor tradition she’s experienced thus far and believed that it was worth the wait in the heat.
“When other Baylor students described running the line, they made it sound so simple and easy. I thought that it was completely opposite — it was hectic,” Campbell said. “I truly feel like the chaos made the experience infinitely better though. I wouldn’t change the seven hours waiting in extreme heat for anything in the world at that moment.”
Cambell saw the game as a great way to bond with those around her, especially with her family watching the game from home.
“My favorite part of the football game was experiencing all the chaos with my boyfriend — I loved yelling out calls and cheering for touchdowns with him. Seeing ourselves on the big screen and having our parents text us pictures of ourselves on TV all the way back in California was amazing,” Cambell said. “Winning the game was just the cherry on top!”
Wall, N.J. freshman Abby Granata saw running the line as the highlight of her freshman year so far as well and as a moment that made her realize how important traditions are to the Baylor community.
“It felt surreal. I couldn’t believe that I was officially a student here because it felt like kind of a benchmark moment,” Granata said. “I love the deep history of the tradition.”
Granata also recounted how exciting it was for her to experience a football game on that large of a scale with so much spirit and support from the crowd.
“My high school never placed much importance on athletics, so school spirit was very rare for me. I loved experiencing this for the first time,” Granata said. “I really enjoyed seeing everyone decked out in Baylor gear and face paint.”
One of the Baylor Line’s main goals is to support the football team, cheer on the Bears and unite freshmen with the rest of the student body and alumni. San Antonio freshman Christina Gonzalez cherished the chance to bond with those around her and experience this new tradition together.
“Running the line gave me an adrenaline rush,” Gonzalez said. “I felt really happy to be able to share this moment with my close friends. Everyone was so happy and excited, and positivity was all around.”