Winona State University's Newspaper since 1919

The Winonan

Winona State University's Newspaper since 1919

The Winonan

Winona State University's Newspaper since 1919

The Winonan


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Warrior Game Day Experience Preps Crowd for an Excellent Game

Hayley Niewohner
Warrior football player tries to escape a tackle form an opposing player.

Some say it was the biggest, baddest, most exhilarating Game Day Experience in the last six years, and it all went down this past weekend. On Saturday, Sept. 22, Winona State University students and family gathered on WSU campus under a rainy sky to get ready for the Warrior game that night.

The weather was downcast, but the energy was on point – as one student observed, “If I would change anything about the day today, it would be the rain and the weather. But I am embracing it!”

Whether there’s rain or shine, the Winona State Warriors have shown that they know how to have a fun time!

Throughout the afternoon, both students and families enjoyed food truck food and some scrumptious American cuisine (hot dogs and burgers) provided by the Winona State Baseball team.

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Event goers also had the chance to try their hand at ax throwing, enjoy a 136-foot inflatable bouncy house, and view some excellent club booths.

“I like the food. I also like the community, like you just see people you might not otherwise see,” an attending student said. “And I like seeing the community around the campus, like not just campus students, but everybody else.”

Perhaps it might be daunting to attend a Warrior Game Day Experience, especially as a new student, but according to the Winona State Health and Wellness Advocacy Club table, the best part of the experience is the free stuff! Of course, they also express that community interactions are a significant aspect of the experience as well.

One element of the community present on Saturday was the recently opened one-stop shop for unique fun, Winona Axe and Arcade.

“We opened up back in May of 2023,” Tim Sexton, the owner of the business said. “We are not only one of the largest axe throwing facilities in the region, but also in the United States.”

Sexton also shared that his business now offers “college nights” on Thursdays. There, students can both take part in axe throwing and indulge in some of the retro arcade games offered for a discounted rate.

Sexton said he and his wood-chopping chamber are excited to become a part of the Winona community and see students finding entertainment in their shop.

There were also parents attending the experience who shared that the fun was not just for the students.

One Warrior dad from Roseville, Minn. Shared that they had never been to a game day experience before but were ecstatic to see everything Winona had to offer over Winona States Family Weekend.

“I was looking forward to bingo, brunch, the boat cruise, enjoying campus and meeting my daughter’s roommate in the dorms,” he said.

It seems that no matter who you are, there’s fun at the Winona Game Day Experience. Though, all this excitement was only in preparation for the main Game Day event.

The stakes were high – after a devastating loss last week on Sept. 16 against Bemidji State University, all eyes were hoping for a Warrior victory.

Game Day Experience-goers packed into the Altra Federal Credit Union Stadium, 3,323 strong, and as if by the magic of the massive crowd, the Warriors came through with a victory of 39-16.

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About the Contributor
Hayley Niewohner
Hayley Niewohner, Sports Photographer
Hayley Niewohner (She/her/hers) is a Sports Photographer for the Winonan and started in the fall of 2023. Niewohner is a first year at Winona State University majoring in Nursing. This is Niewohner's first year in anything for publication, but she has many years of experience taking pictures during sporting events in high school.
In addition to working for the Winonan, Niewohner is a Desk Assistant in Sheehan hall.
Outside of the Winonan, Niewohner loves spending time with friends outdoors, lifting in the gym, trying out local coffee shops, going to concerts, and watching sporting events. She also enjoys cooking, making chocolate, and doodling.

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