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WSU hosts Warrior Game Day before Battle for Sledge game

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Photos: WSU Homecoming vs Northern State

The Winona State Warrior football team enters Altra Federal Credit Union Stadium for the 2021 WSU Homecoming football game against Northern State on October 9, 2021.

Winona State University will host the Warrior Game Day Experience from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday on Johnson Street just North of Mark Street, sponsored by the WSU Foundation. 

This free community event features everything from giveaways to games and activities for children to food trucks and live music. Following will be the Battle for the Sledge game against Southwest Minnesota State at 1 p.m. at Altra Federal Credit Union Stadium. Fans are asked to wear white for the game, which will also celebrate Think Pink for breast cancer awareness. 

From 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., WSU Health & Wellness Services, in partnership with Winona County, will be on campus to offer COVID-19 vaccines to all who are interested. COVID-19 vaccinations will also be available at the Game Day Experience events Nov. 6 and 13. 

The Battle for the Sledge began in the 2008 season. Winona State would name a defensive player of the game from the previous week's contest and award that player with a sledgehammer for the next week. During warm-ups of the Winona State-Southwest Minnesota State game on Oct. 4, 2008, a WSU player brought the sledgehammer to mid-field prior to the game while SMSU players looked on. 

SMSU went on to earn a 35-28 victory over WSU, breaking the Warriors' seven-game winning streak. Following the game, SMSU players ran over to the WSU sideline and grabbed the sledgehammer, celebrating the victory at midfield. With emotions running high for both teams following a hard-fought game, a WSU player went over to the SMSU sideline to get their sledgehammer back. SMSU gave the sledgehammer back, and a rivalry was born.

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