The night before Tennessee’s biggest rivalry, the fans, tall and small, were decked out in orange and white. Geared up to take on the Florida Gators.
Adams Law, Admiral Title, Inc. hosted a tailgate for fans, including the next generation of fans.
“She loves Smokey and she loves the band, definitely loves the music,” said Abigail Ruiz, a UT alum and mom to daughter, Emma. “The football was kind of last on her priority list, but she loves Smokey.”
For Ruiz, Tennessee is where she met her husband, got her law degree, and now, it’s the school she hopes her daughter will love as much as she does.
“It’s really exciting because I think so much of my life, and my connections and my friends revolve around the University of Tennessee and so to see her be a part of that is really exciting,” she said.
Other alumni said it’s the memories of UT football games they’re excited to pass down to their children.
Laura Lynn Riden was a freshman in 1998. She attended the game when the Vols became National Champions, stormed the field herself, and says she hopes her daughter will appreciate the story in the future.
“The aftermath was just amazing, leaving the game it was just an exciting time,” said Laura Lynn Riden.
A new generation of fans is getting schooled in what it means to be a volunteer.
“Learning healthy competition, going to the games and being part of something that’s bigger than you.”