On Saturday, October 14, the Kean football team hosted their homecoming game against The College of New Jersey (TCNJ) at Kean Alumni Stadium. Before the game, the homecoming tailgate took place from 10:00 a.m. to 1:00 pm. took place between Harwood Arena and Kean Hall parking lot.
Students, faculty/staff, alumni, and community visitors checked in to get free tickets for food and games. At many of the check-in tents, there was also free merchandise handed out. For the students, they were given the option to spin a wheel for an opportunity to win T-shirts, hoodies, water bottles, and other fun prizes. Decorated in the lot were food trucks, carnival games,and a multitude of activities to partake in. Attendees were spotted wearing pink in honor of the Barbie homecoming theme.
This year, the Kean Cougar Kidszone was added for kids ages 5 to 13. There were plenty of activities to partcipate in for the kids including getting their face painted, making balloons, riding in go-karts, bouncy houses, and other various games where they were able to win prizes. In the Miron Student Center there was also a screening of the movie Trolls World Tour.
For the alumni, many stated that it was a great feeling to come back to their alma mater. Those Attending homecoming weekend were able to see their old friends, and professors, while participate in activites, and supporting the Kean community.
Taleeah Jones '23 Kean alumna, explains how attending homecoming brings a different feeling compared to when she was a student.
“ It feels good, when I came as a student it was like okay this is hype but coming as an alumni it just feels ten times different,” said Jones. Taleeah had also attended a different university previously and goes on to elaborate on the differences in environment.
“ I was a transfer student from Rutgers. I feel like Kean did more on-campus events than Rutgers did. So the student engagement was more fun here,” said Jones.
Kean always makes sure there are events for students to engage in so that way they can make friends and lifelong connections. For Myles Toppin, who also graduated in May of 2023 that is no different as he explains how it feels coming back for homecoming.
“It’s always a good time you know, seeing good friends and people I even call brothers now [...] I played football here so I come back and visit the team as well and it’s always a good experience, talk to the young guys and get them pumped up for the homecoming game,” said Toppin.
As the tailgate ended, fans headed to the stands to watch the football team take the field to play the highly anticipated game against TCNJ. The first half for the team was rough, as multiple 3rd down stops and interceptions prevented the Cougars from scoring. By the end of the second quarter, TCNJ were up 17 to 0. They were able to get two touchdowns and a field goal before the third quarter.
During halftime our Kean homecoming royals were crowned. As acknowledged at midfield, the winners were Isabel Evens and Jazaan Walsh. A crowd was formed capturing the special moment before resuming to the homecoming game.
Not much changed in the second half as multiple punts and a few forced fumbles by Kean and TCNJ kept the third quarter scoreless, in the fourth quarter TCNJ was able to get a field goal and a touchdown with the final score being 27 to 0.
Although the Kean football team took a loss on homecoming weekend, the fans were still cheering our Cougars on. Our Kean spirit will live on to our next game against Christopher Newport University in Newport News, Virginia on October 21. We hope to see our Cougars come out with a victory.