The long-standing tradition of the Gamecock Walk is something fans do not want to miss on a Saturday game day in South Carolina. This tradition gives fans an opportunity to cheer on the players and coaches up close and personal before they enter the stadium for battle.
The tradition took a hiatus during the 2020 COVID-19 restricted season but is back to full capacity for the 2021 season.
The Gamecock Walk takes place when the team arrives at the Long Family Football Operations Center via bus and walks to Williams-Brice Stadium. The walk totals 704 yards, or just shy of half a mile, through Gamecock Park as fans surround the team with support.
Fans can be seen three or four rows deep at times, so the best bet is to get there early.
The first Gamecock Walk of the Shane Beamer era in Columbia drew a massive crowd, one of the largest in recent history.
“It’s no surprise, but that Gamecock Walk was unbelievable. I've been a part of a lot of walks where there's a lot of people there, but I don't think I've ever been around one that was as loud as that,” Beamer said of the walk at a press conference after the week one win versus Eastern Illinois.
The Daily Gamecock interviewed several fans prior to the Vanderbilt game on Oct. 16.
“I’ve been coming ever since I was little,” Rusty, from Aiken, South Carolina, said.
Rusty said his favorite memory from Gamecock Walk was when Steve Spurrier was still head coach.
“When Spurrier was here, too, with Clowney and all that being here — it was a great experience.” Rusty said. “I liked how he was getting everybody hype, interacting with the people, high-fiving them and everything.”
Wyatt, a friend of Rusty's also from Aiken, said he's been coming to the Gamecock Walk for about 15 years. Wyatt said he couldn't choose his favorite memory from the Gamecock Walk.
“There’s been so many," Wyatt said. "It seems like it just gets better and better every time they come down.”
Ben from Rock Hill was experiencing his first Gamecock Walk to support his former students.
“I’m really looking forward to it; I’ve got a couple of former students playing in the Carolina Band, so I came down to support them and support the team.” Ben said. “Looking forward to seeing what Beamer’s got this year.”
Emma from Charleston was also a first-timer; she said she was looking forward to seeing the players and having the experience.
The Daily Gamecock also ran into some seasoned veterans at Gamecock Walk.
Sandra from Atlanta was one of them. She said she's been coming to Gamecock walk for about 40 years. She was with her grandson and keeping the tradition alive.
Sandra was excited for the Shane Beamer era of Gamecock football, saying, "I think we have the right coach — he wants to be here, he's full of enthusiasm, and he's a wonderful man."
Tim Davis from Rock Hill, South Carolina, was at the Gamecock Walk to give his 14-year-old son the experience for the first time.
Edward Allison from Sumter, South Carolina, said he looks forward to "everything."
Gamecock Walk brings the energy fans need to make Williams-Brice Stadium an electric atmosphere time and time again.