Munn Field welcomed back the Izzone Campout on Friday after a two-year hiatus due to the COVID-19 pandemic and inclement weather.
Many attendees were first- and second-year students who were experiencing the campout for the first time, like business-preference freshman Michael Iverson.
“I’ve been a fan for a long time so I’ve been wanting to do this for so long," Iverson said. "I don’t care if it’s raining, I'll be here.”
Business sophomore Hadley Krzyske experienced her first campout this year as she experiences her true first year of college.
“Excited for the new recruits and to just see how well the team comes together," Krzyske said. "I think tonight specifically it’s exciting to see the team and to see the Izzone and it’s also nice because last year we didn’t have this so it’s cool that everyone’s back in one area.”
At 10 p.m. students rushed over to the stage to meet the team. Matt McQuaid, one of Izzo’s former players and now part of his coaching staff, introduced members of the team one by one and gave each one a chance to pump up the crowd.
Players began to introduce themselves to the crowd, including sophomore guard A.J. Hoggard, who pleaded with fans to be their "sixth-man" on the court this season.
“It’s going to be a fun year, we missed y’all last year. We need you to be the best sixth man this year,” Hoggard said and finished off his turn at the mic with a “Go Green, Go White” chant.
Junior forward and co-captain Malik Hall pumped up the crowd with a few cheers and then told the Izzone how they needed to return.
“Every game that I’m at, which is all of them, y’all better be that loud," Hall said.
Senior forward and co-captain Gabe Brown continued to hype up the crowd with some cheers and then joined the other seniors in crowd surfing The Izzone. After the crowd figured out how to turn the players around and bring them back to the stage, it was time for the main event.
Michigan State Head Coach Tom Izzo came running out through a tunnel formed by his players to address the student section. He started off his speech with a dance lesson from Brown who claimed to be the best dancer on the team. He then thanked the crowd for their participation in the campout despite the cold and rainy weather.
“This year, they wanted to semi-cancel it because they were worried about the rain and I went on the social media, which isn’t my best friend, but I went on the social media today and I said we’re gonna do it Spartan-style," Izzo said. "If it rains, if it snows we’re gonna be out here."
The team struggled last year, some of which could be contributed to the weird year without The Izzone and the rest of the Spartan crowd, which Izzo said they struggled to not have.
“We died without you last year," Izzo said. "We missed you all. We’re gonna be back bigger and stronger than ever.”
The meet the team event ended with a fireworks show by Pro Fireworks aided by former player Kyle Ahrens.
The next morning the players got back to preparation for the upcoming season which begins with an exhibition game against Ferris State on Oct. 27 at the Breslin Center.
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