Gonzaga welcomes back fans for Kraziness in the Kennel

SPOKANE, Wash. — The Zags are back and the Kennel is alive once again.

Gonzaga Bulldogs fans flooded the McCarthey Center Saturday, as they got a first look at the men’s basketball team for the first time this season.

Now, fans are back in the Kennel and the energy in there was unmatched. It was a packed house full of fans.

“It’s good to be back in person, although with masks, you can still feel the energy,” said junior Jeremy Thellman, who has been looking forward to it for quite some time. “It feels great because freshman year, I got the real taste of what the Kennel was like. It’s been pretty much two years without having any kennel experience.”

Last year’s Kraziness in the Kennel went virtual due to the pandemic, and it’s still not fully back to normal this year. Masks are required.

COVID-19 changed the college experience for students and many fans had to watch the Zags play from home last season.

“It was definitely different, because you try to go to restaurants or you’re at home, but when you’re in person, you get to really feel the hype and excitement through everybody and not like at home,” said Grace Roening, a fan.

Gonzaga University put new rules in place, in an effort to still let fans watch the Zags. Fans attending any games have to show proof of vaccination or a negative test within 72 hours.

“We want to keep things going, we want in-person games, and hopefully this will be the first test if we can do it. If things go great, then we’ll keep this up and have a great year for the Zags,” Thellman said.

Some fans who stood in long lines got to experience the Kennel for the first time.

“I’m excited, because I’ve been locked in the house for so long. I’ve heard about how crazy it is in the Kennel. It sounds crazy,” said Dominique Phelps.

And for fans like Thellman, and a lot of students, they’re happy to be back home.

RELATED: Gonzaga Coach Mark Few to miss first few games following DUI citation 

RELATED: Gonzaga basketball’s Kraziness in the Kennel, Fan Fest a go for 2021