UTICA, NY - The Utica Nighthawks semi-pro football club opened their inaugural season Saturday at the new Sal Longo Field at Proctor Park.
The Nighthawks are part of the Gridiron Developmental Football League and will compete in the GDFL Xtreme East Division.
They'll face teams like the Cataract Wolverines of Niagara Falls, New York, the Syracuse Strong, the East Penn Raiders of Allen Town, Pennsylvania, and the Upstate Predators of Rochester, New York.
In their first matchup, they took on the Upstate Predators, and fans were excited to see them take the field.
"I just heard about it yesterday on tv, on the news,” said Robert Wrane. “I was excited. I like football. Football's my favorite."
Franchesca Santiago agreed, adding “It's good to have the community get together and have something fun to actually come to and celebrate."
Unfortunately, things didn't quite turn out the way the Nighthawks and their fans had hoped. They dropped a hard-fought game to the Predators 18 - 0.
But after being cooped up for most of last year because of the pandemic, fans were just happy to get out and be with other people.