Photo gallery: Meet the Team Night

Offensive linemen Pat Ward (left) and Taylor Paxton (right) sign a young fan’s poster. (Ariel Yong/The Daily Northwestern)

Ariel Yong, Reporter

Normally, it’s all about offensive plays and defensive stops for the Northwestern football team. But Friday night, it was all about the kids.

The team invited fans to their annual meet-and-greet event at Ryan Field. For some young fans, such as the players on the Bloomingdale Bears youth football team, this was their first year attending. The boys said they were excited to meet the Wildcats who play their positions.

Coach Pat Fitzgerald kicked off the event with an overview of his squad and the highly anticipated introduction of this year’s captains: left guard Brian Mulroe, defensive lineman Brian Arnfelt, linebacker David Nwabuisi and starting quarterback Kain Colter.

Then, fans got the chance to come on to the field to meet the players, who were grouped by position at different stations on the field. On one end, kids kicked field goals. On the other, the wide receivers played catch with kids and taught them some simple running routes.

Fans also received the yet-to-be-released 2012 Northwestern Football poster and had the opportunity to get autographs from the team. Players across the field signed the posters, T-shirts, footballs, and for one fan, his Croc shoes. On the sidelines, Willie the Wildcat and the cheerleaders gave high-fives, signed autographs and posed for pictures.