Football

April 21-22 is Marshall Green-White/Alumni Weekend — Chock Full of Events

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HUNTINGTON — The Marshall football program has announced its 2017 spring practice schedule, highlighted by the Green and White Scrimmage on April 22, the Marshall Green-White/ Alumni Weekend, and another scrimmage on April 29.  The practices are open to the public, but will be closed in the event they are moved indoors to the Chris Cline Indoor Athletic Complex for rain or other conditions. A day-by-day update on practice location will be tweeted through @HerdFB once it is known, also check twitter accounts for The Herald-Dispatch and Herd Insider twitter and facebook pages.

For all open practices, fans are asked to enter through Gate B (beneath the press box) and to sit in the chair back sections as spring maintenance will continue in and around the concourse of the stadium.

At 9 a.m. Friday, April 21, the day before the G-W Scrimmage the Third Annual “Sons of Marshall” Thundering Herd Football Alumni Tournament will be held at the Sugarwood Golf Course, six miles south of Huntington out Fifth Street Road (south on Route 152) in Lavalette, W.Va. Sugarwood has been reinvented a number of times since 1980, and in the spring of 2012 the course opened its final new green on hole No. 16 to complete the 30-year renovation of the course — with multiple tees ranging from 5,186-yards to 6,710-yards.

It is a scramble-type format with a check-in at 9 a.m., then teeing off at 10 a.m. with a shotgun start right after check-in closes Friday morning. The cost of the golfing is $36 per person, including cart, and the winning team will receive individual plaques. Entries will be accepted up to the day before the tournament, on Thursday, April 20, by calling or texting former Herd offensive lineman Mike Williams: (740)258-2693 or email: williamsm0213@yahoo.com or former Herd quarterback Willie Wilson: (304)544-7427 or email: wlwilson@access.k.wv for more info.

This tournament specifically is open to all former members of the Marshall Thundering Herd football program including players, coaches, and staff. In fact, any graduates of Marshall University are more than welcome to play in the golf tournament. It would be great to see anyone that was involved with the football program back in the day, with memories like:

  • Cam Henderson in the 1930s and 1940s, including first Tangerine Bowl team at Marshall following the 1947 season, including bowl MVP Donnie Gibson, Norm “Wild Man” Willey, Charlie Snyder, Bob Sang and Claude Miller;
  • The first turn through the MAC (1953-69) including Coach Herb Royer finishing second in the league in 1957 with Jim Simpson, Herb Hess, Sonny Sirianni and Jim O’Connor, then Coach Charlie Snyder finishing second again in 1964 with Bob Pruett, Jim Cure, Howie Lee Miller, Bill Winter, Tom Good and others;
  • The Southern Conference years (1977-96) including the rebuild of the Herd program, with players like Bob Tracey, John “Fuzzy” Filliez, Jack Crabtree, Allen Meadows, Reggie Oliver, Jesse Smith, Mark Brookover, Ray Crisp, Carl Lee, Ron “The Jet” Lear, Jim Devine and Larry Fourquean that led to domination of I-AA football with two National Championships, six I-AA Championship appearances and three SoCon league titles behind players like Greg Adkins, Keenan Rhodes, Matt Downey, Eric Gates, Mike Barber, Sean Doctor, Eric Ihnat, Andrea Motley, Orlando Hatchett, Michael Payton, Chris Parker, Reggie Giles, John Gregory, Tony Petersen, Glenn Pedro, Chris Deaton, Phil Ratliff, Roger Johnson, Aaron Ferguson, and William and Shannon King;
  • MAC-II ran from 1997-2004 — part of “The Decade, The Dynasty,” (1990-99) — that including winning five MAC championships in six years and wins in the Motor City Bowl (3-of-4) and GMAC Bowl (2 in a row) behind players like Randy Moss, John Wade, Chad Pennington, Doug Chapman, Rogers Beckett, Byron Leftwich, Max Yates, Darius “Spiderman” Watts, Dani “Lucky Charms” Derricott, Billy Lyon, Tim Martin, Jermain Swafford, Giradie Mercer, Rodney Garrett, Jamus Martin, and Josh Davis;
  • And the current years in Conference USA, since 2005, including one championship, two division titles and four bowl wins under current Herd head coach Doc Holliday (2010-present), players like Brian Anderson, Evan McKelvey, James Rouse, Aaron Dobson, Rakeem Cato, Tommy Shuler, Neville Hewitt, Mario Harvey, Doug Legurski, Jeremiah Taylor, Michael Selby, Darryl Roberts, and Albert McClelland.

After the golf is finished, many of you will also want to attend the annual Big Green Scholarship Foundation dinner on Friday night, with a 6 p.m. reception and a 7 p.m. dinner. This year’s featured speaker is former Marshall defensive end Vinny Curry, who just completed his fifth season (2012-2017) with the Philadelphia Eagles after being drafted in the second round in the 59th overall selection. Curry has 88 tackles and 19 quarterback sacks in his career, also adding four forced fumbles and deflecting two passes. Curry will be in the second year of a 5-year contract worth $47.5 million, with $23 million guaranteed, and he is heading up the “Vinny Curry Project” to renovate the football dressing room.

If any former players who are golfing are interested in sitting at tables of former players (with wives and/or families), please contact Mike Williams as soon as possible. He is trying to get as many tables as needed for former Herd football players to attend this dinner. For information on the Big Green Scholarship Foundation dinner on Friday, April 21, contact John Sutherland, Associate Director of Athletics for Development and Executive Director of the Big Green, as 304-696-3402 or the Big Green Program Coordinator Leslie Denney at 304-696-4661.

As part of the Alumni Weekend, there is a dinner theater at the Joan C. Edwards Playhouse on Fifth Avenue, across from the Student Center, presenting “Guys and Dolls” by the MU Theatre group. Tickets are $35 for individuals or $60 for couples for the 6 p.m. dinner and 7:30 p.m. show. On Saturday morning, the alumni will host a breakfast at the Marshall Memorial Student Center. The breakfast is open to all alums and is only $10 per person at 9 a.m.

At 11 a.m., Curry will give an invitation-only update on the Vinny Curry Project, a project to renovate the football home in the Shewey Athletic Center that he jump-started with a $200,000 donation. Any former player can have the opportunity to donate $1,000 to have a locker in the Herd’s current dressing room dedicated to themselves for donations to help renovate the 118 lockers in the dressing room. For more information on the Vinny Curry Project, go to Marshall’s official website, HerdZone.com and click on Big Green near the top of the page.

Later on Saturday, at noon, the water that runs April to November in the Marshall Memorial Fountain is once again turned back. It is turned off each year on Nov. 14, going back to the airplane crash that killed 37 players, five coaches and many others including family, staff, and boosters of the MU football program, 75 persons in all, on the Marshall Football Southern Airways charter returning from a game at East Carolina on Nov. 14, 1970.

The water starting again each spring represents how Marshall football did not end in that horrific incident, starting in the spring of 1971 with Coach Jack Lengyel and the “Young Thundering Herd.” There is no cost to attend the fountain ceremony and is open to anyone.

The Marshall Football Green-White Spring scrimmage will be at 3 p.m. on Saturday. Admission is free, and the only charge is $20 per car to park/tailgate on the West Lot of the Joan C. Edwards Stadium and other University lots, with gates opening at 10 a.m. that day on first come, first-served basis. Coming off a 3-9 season, the Herd is making moves on the coaching staff, while any number of players are looking for a starting position by having a good spring. Practices begin March 28, running every Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday until April 29, and have been open to the public in past years.

After the game, the doors will open at 6 p.m. at the Memorial Student Center, and the 80th Annual Alumni Awards Banquet will get underway at 7 p.m. The cost is $75 per person or $140 for a couple.

Other Marshall events the week leading up to Green-White Alumni Weekend include Marshall vs. WVU in baseball on Tuesday, April 18, at Appalachian Power Park in Charleston at 6 p.m. The next day, April 19, plays Ohio U. at Prasco Park in Mason, Ohio, the home of the Cincinnati Spikes amateur baseball program in the summers and the Herd will meet the Bobcats there near Cincinnati and Kings Island, at 6 p.m. There is also an additional field, Legacy Park, which is all synthetic turf except for the mound. This is all on the campus of Prasco Laboratories in Mason. The facility hosts the Great Midwest Athletic Conference Baseball Championships and the home of the NCCAA World Series for Christian Colleges across the nation.

MU Softball, rolling in Conference USA at 9-0 with a 15-game winning streak, is also at long-time rival Morehead State on Wednesday, April 19, at 3 p.m. Morgan Zerkle and pitcher Jordan Dixon are leading a team playing even better than the 2013 edition of Coach Shonda Stanton who won the league and obtained Marshall softball’s first trip to the NCAA Tournament.

It all starts with the Third Annual Sons of Marshall Thundering Herd Football Alumni Golf outing on Friday, April 21 at 10 a.m. at the Sugarwood Golf Course. To sign up or to ask any questions, call Mike Williams at 740-258-2693.

Schedule For Spring Football: Subject to change due to rain (moving workouts inside the Chris Cline Indoor Practice Facility which are closed to the public):

Monday, March 27: Spring Break ends, Classes resume

Marshall Football Practice Week 1

Practice 1, Tuesday, March 28: 2:45-6:15 p.m.

Practice 2, Thursday, March 30: 2:45-6:15 p.m.

Practice 3, Saturday, April 1: 9:15 a.m.-12:30 p.m.

Marshall Football Practice Week 2

Practice 4, Tuesday, April 4: 2:45-6:15 p.m.

Practice 5, Thursday, April 6: 2:45-6:15 p.m.

Practice 6, Saturday, April 8: 9:15 a.m.-12:30 p.m.

Marshall Football Practice Week 3

Practice 7, Tuesday, April 11: 2:45-6:15 p.m.

Practice 8, Thursday, April 13: 2:45-6:15 p.m.

Practice 9, Saturday, April 15: 9:15 a.m.-12:30 p.m.

Marshall Football Practice Week 4

Practice 10, Tuesday, April 18: 2:45-6:15 p.m.

Practice 11, Thursday, April 20: 2:45-6:15 p.m.

Green-White/Alumni Weekend, April 21-22

Friday, April 21:

  • Marshall Football Alums 3rd Annual“Michelin Tire” Golf Tournament, Sugarwood Golf Course, 9 a.m. check-in, $36 per player includes cart, call Mike Williams 740-258-2693 for information
  • Big Green Herdspys 2017 Banquet, 6 p.m. reception, 7 p.m. dinner, NFL/Marshall defensive end Vinny Curry is the featured speaker, tickets $80 for individual, $150 per couple or sponsor a table for $2,000
  • MU Alumni Dinner Theater “Guys and Dolls,” 6 p.m. dinner, 7:30 p.m. play, $35 for individual, $60 per couple

Practice 12, Saturday, April 22:

  • Marshall Alumni Reunion Breakfast, 9 a.m., Marshall Memorial Student Center, $10 each
  • Memorial Fountain ceremony for spring restart, 12 p.m., Marshall Memorial Student Center, no charge
  • Green and White Scrimmage, JCE Stadium, 3 p.m., Tickets-FREE, Parking-$20 on University lots
  • 80th Annual Alumni Awards Banquet, 7 p.m., Marshall Memorial Student Center, $75 for individual, $140 per couple, $500 for table of eight

For more information regarding Marshall Football’s Big Green Weekend on Friday, April 21 and Saturday, April 22, please click the following link: http://www.herdzone.com/sports/m-footbl/spec-rel/020817aaa.html.

For more information regarding Alumni Weekend, click on the following link: http://www.herdalum.com/s/1269/start.aspx?sid=1269&gid=1&pgid=61&cid=160

Marshall Football Practice Week 5

Practice 13, Tuesday, April 25: 2:45-6:15 p.m.

Practice 14, Thursday, April 27: 2:45-6:15 p.m.

Practice 15, Saturday, April 29: 9:15 a.m. Scrimmage

About Woody Woodrum

Senior Editor and columnist/writer for Herd Insider since 2003, with Kindred Communications on radio for Marshall football/men's basketball pregame and postgame shows since 1996 and with First Sentry Bank Sportsline (Also Scott on Sports, Sideline Sports and Herd Insider Sportsline) since 1997. Married to Liz (12-22-1990) and one son, Tre' (11-7-1997). National Sportswriters & Sportscasters West Virginia Broadcaster of the Year winner for radio, 2000; won W.Va. Broadcasters Best Talk Show in 2013 with co-host Paul Swann and W.Va. Broadcasters Best Play-by-Play in 2015 with Jason Toy (Huntington at South Charleston, state AAA semifinals). Member of (College) Football Writers Association of America, (College) Basketball Writers Association of America and National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association. Color commentator for Marshall football (1999-2000), for Marshall basketball (2004-2016) and Marshall baseball (2004-2016). Color for high school football at Spring Valley (1999-2008), Cabell Midland (2009-2012) and Huntington (W.Va.) High School (2013-2016).

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