Football Seniors Ready for Farewell at Papa John’s Cardinal Stadium
The Cardinals’ 14-member senior class will be honored before Saturday’s kickoff.
LOUISVILLE, Ky. – In what is sure to be an emotional time, the University of Louisville football team will honor its senior class before prior to the 3:30 p.m. kickoff against Syracuse at Papa John’s Cardinal Stadium.
A total of 14 seniors will walk on to their home field for the final time in their careers, which has been filled with many fine moments and accomplishments.
“It’s kind of overwhelming,” senior tight end Charles Standberry said following Tuesday’s practice. “These four years really flew past and I didn’t expect it to go this fast, but I’m very excited. I want to go out there and leave it all on the field.”
For senior running back Reggie Bonnafon, a Louisville, Ky., native, the emotions will be wide-ranging. He played at Papa John’s Cardinal Stadium growing up, playing little league football and for local powerhouse Trinity High, so his feelings are a little different than the other seniors on the team.
“It will hit me when the game starts,” Bonnafon said. “It did go by fast, and I had a lot of great memories. I’m looking forward to having one more game here. It will be bittersweet, but I’m looking forward to the opportunity.”
Playing in his first game as a freshman in 2014, Standberry caught his first touchdown pass versus Miami in the school’s inaugural Atlantic Coast Conference contest. From there on, the tight ends role has been mixed, but he’s enjoying his best season as his collegiate career comes to a close.
The Montgomery, Ala., native has caught 23 passes for 251 yards and three touchdowns through the first 10 games of the season, and he is grateful for the opportunity to have a larger role in the offense.
“I’m more comfortable in my role,” Standberry said. “I used to be in for a few drives then I’d come out, but this year my role has been more consistent, which has benefitted me a lot this season.”
A three-position player, Bonnafon’s career has seen him start games at quarterback, wide receiver, and running back. Never really having a defined role, Bonnafon has excelled during his final season and always played the role of team-first.
“I’m not worried how people will remember me,” Bonnafon said. “I just always try to do the right things and be a team player. That’s not for me to decide, I will let others do that. I loved my time here and I’m looking forward to playing on Saturday.”
The senior class has enjoyed plenty of success, including 32 wins and four bowl appearances, but they mainly will be remembered as the first class to lead the program through the rigors of the ACC.
“It’s been fun,” Bonnafon said. “This is the first class to go through this league – that’s something that’s big. To be a part of the first class to go through the ACC, it doesn’t get any better than that from coming from other conferences to where we are now; it’s hard to put into words.”