Gold Side wins 2022 UM College Night

Published 8:51 am Tuesday, February 22, 2022

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By EMILY SPARACINO | Staff Writer 

MONTEVALLO – The University of Montevallo’s 2022 College Night on Saturday, Feb. 19 culminated in a Gold Victory.

Members of the Gold Side reacted with cheers, tears and thumbs up after hearing they had won College Night, a long-standing homecoming tradition at UM that features student-produced musical shows by the Gold and Purple Sides in one of the most unique school spirit competitions in existence.

“No one expects to come in here with a win,” said Kensley Sandlin, who served as a Gold Side leader with Joy Hill. “We just worked as hard as we possibly could for as long as we possibly could for five weeks, and we put all we could on the stage. I am just so happy for Gold Side, and I’m so happy to be a part of Gold Side.”

The Golds’ production, titled “The Ballad of the Mississippi River,” came after the Purples’ production, “Bad at Being Bad” or “The League of Incredibly Evil Wrongdoers Who Sometimes Do Good.”

The winner of College Night each year is the side with the highest total number of points. Sides earn pre-production points and production points, which are totaled to determine the College Night winner.

Before announcing the 2022 winner, SGA President Anakate Andrasko recognized the students for their dedication to the tradition, especially during the pandemic.

“Both sides always work incredibly hard, but this year was different,” Andrasko said. “This year was about teaching underclassmen about the joy, heart and soul of the game. These students that stand beside me have amazed me by their resilience throughout this whole season and this year.”

UM’s homecoming theme for 2022 was “Back on the Bricks, Where We Belong,” and this year’s College Night represented a return to the event’s pre-COVID-19 format with live shows inside Palmer Auditorium.

For last year’s event, College Night leaders and advisors from the College Night Committee and University administration developed a plan to celebrate the tradition while staying safe during the pandemic.

College Night 2021 was held virtually from March 10-13.

The Purple and Gold Sides celebrated their 100th year, and UM celebrated its 125th.

To honor past College Nights, the side leaders chose to return to a modified format of the late 1920s.

To honor UM’s weathering of the unprecedented times of the pandemic, the side leaders agreed to play as one side, with Purples and Golds together, making the ultimate winner College Night and the university.

During this year’s College Night, the 2021 Purple Leaders, Brey Hamblin and Lavaun Thompson, and the Gold Leaders, Abby Jo Askins and Jonathan Everheart, were invited on stage to be recognized.

“Last year was hard,” Sandlin said. “We have pushed through a lot of hard things this season. I’m so happy to do the game like it normally is and keep the tradition going.”