NORMAN — Sheila Wixon spent Friday sick at her home in Porter.
Wixon is confined to a wheelchair because of a heart condition, but Friday’s illness wasn’t heart related. Instead, it was purely anxiety.
The 62-year-old knew Saturday would be the first time she would see her beloved Oklahoma Sooners in person at the annual spring game.
The game was a first-time experience for some of the 43,500 fans in attendance, but for Wixon it was a special moment.
“I’ve been wanting to come down here forever,” she said before, the game waving her arms in excitement while wearing an OU jersey. “My brother came down from Iowa to bring us down here.”
Wixon has been a Sooner fan as long as she can remember, saying her father was also a fan. But multiple factors prevented her from ever making the trip to Norman.
Getting her wheelchair to fit in a vehicle for the drive was problematic. Then her health has been an issue.
“It’s really neat to get her here,” said Renee Judkins, Wixon’s sister. “I know her heart’s just beating as fast as it could be. She’s so excited.”
Wixon, though, was far from being the only first-time attendee.
Tom Edwards, of Dallas, brought his two sons, Gavin and Grant, for their first spring game hoping he could continue building their love for OU.
“I graduated from OU in ’99 and just love the Sooners,” Edwards said. “I want to share it with my boys. (The spring game is) just kind of the hope of the new season, it’s seeing all of the new players playing and it’s just fun to see a looser atmosphere for the boys.”
Gavin, 11, even expressed his excitement.
“I love coming to OU games and it’s super fun for me,” he said. “I just really like seeing them play and how well they do.”
A popular theme among fans was the Sooners’ win against Alabama in the Sugar Bowl. Judkins was thrilled about seeing quarterback Trevor Knight, too, saying, “It’s Knight time,” repeatedly.
But for Wixon, the spring game meant more than seeing how Knight looks in his game-like action since January.
It didn’t get much better for her than being there.
“Let’s just hope I don’t have a heart attack,” she joked.