CALDWELL, Idaho — The College of Idaho football scrimmage on Friday wasn't just a chance to see the team's ability, it was also the opportunity for the team to try to strengthen its tie to the Caldwell community.
The team finished second in attendance last season among all NAIA teams in the country. After the scrimmage, the team and coaches signed autographs for fans.
“This community supports us," Reagan Rossi, the Athletic Director said. "It’s unbelievable the amount of support we receive. But like anything we want to get better. We want more people here, we’re number two in attendance in the country, we want to be number one."
Friday night's scrimmage was about more than just getting more fans into the Simplot Stadium. The Athletic Department hopes to get closer to the people and community of Caldwell.
“We started our new Motto, ‘Come Win With Us.’ It’s an invitation," said Rossi. "We want everyone to be a part of what we’re doing. We’ve got a lot of new people that have moved to this community, they need to fall in love with us. They need to realize that this can be a home for them too.”
This invitation is both metaphorical and literal. The team sent an invitation to Optimist Nampa Football, a youth team from the area.
The kids were able to watch the scrimmage, interact with players, and even get them to perform popular dances.
“They were having a blast," Raymand Castaneda, Coach of Optimist Nampa Football said. "They were down here screaming trying to get the players to do the griddy. Great experience for them and the College of Idaho”
College of Idaho head coach Mike Moroski sees the school's new motto applying to more than just football though.
“Winning together is almost a missing thing in our society these days. My passion in life is it comes together in a big way, in a dynamic way, here in Caldwell Idaho.”