HUNTINGTON — Marshall Green-White Weekend is about 10 days away, with many events presented by the Marshall Football program, the Big Green Scholarship Foundation, the Marshall University Alumni Association and Sons of Marshall. The events are April 21-22, with Marshall Alumni Weekend also running that same weekend.
Friday, April 21, at 9 a.m., the Third Annual “Sons of Marshall” Golf Tournament will be held at the Sugarwood Golf Course, six miles south of Huntington out Fifth Street Road (south on Route 152) to 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 with a shotgun start right after checking in closes up on Friday morning around 10 a.m. 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 Mike Williams, at 740-258-2693.
This tournament specifically is open to all former members (players, coaches and staff) of the Marshall Thundering Herd football program. In fact, any graduates of Marshall University are more than welcome to play in the golf tournament.
After the golf is finished, many of you will also want to attend the annual Big Green Scholarship Foundation dinner on Friday night, April 21, 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.
If you are interested in sitting at tables of former players (with wives and/or families), please contact former Herd lineman Mike Williams (740-258-2693) as soon as possible. He is trying to get at least a couple tables of 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.
On Saturday, April 22, 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.
Later on Saturday, at 12 p.m., the water in the Marshall Memorial Fountain is turned back. It is turned off each year on Nov. 14, going back to the airplane crash that killed 37 players, five coaches and more 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 in 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.”
The Marshall Football Green-White Spring Football game 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, with the parking lots opening at 10 a.m. that day on first come, first-served basis. Coming off a 3-9 season, any number of players are looking for a starting position by having a good spring. Practices began March 28, running every Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday until April 29.
This same weekend is also Marshall University Alumni Weekend. The University welcomes back the Gold Anniversary Class of 1967 (50 years) and the Silver Anniversary Class of 1992 (25 years). Events include a Friday night dinner theater at the Joan C. Edwards Playhouse, $35 for an individual ticket or $60 per couple, with dinner at 6 p.m. and “Guys and Dolls” performance starting at 7:30 p.m. on April 21.
On Saturday, April 22, there is an Alumni Breakfast at the John Marshall Room of the Marshall Memorial Student Center. It starts at 9 a.m. and is $10 per person, so come for breakfast and stay for the fountain ceremony at noon and the Green-White scrimmage at 3 p.m.
Saturday night is the 80th Annual Alumni Awards Banquet at 7 p.m. The cost is $75 per person, $140 for a couple. Honorees include the 80th winner of Distinguished Alumni Award winner Jeff Porter, a 1977 graduate, an award given since 1961 (Marshall College became Marshall University that year); the Distinguished Service to Marshall Award to former Herd coach (1967-72) William “Red” Dawson, an award given since 1968; the winner of the Young Alumni Award goes to Griffin McElroy; and the Community Achievement Award goes to both Huntington YMCA leader George Smailes and Brandy Barkey-Sweeney, an educator, and marketing professional in Point Pleasant, W.Va., an award given since 1974.
Other awards being handed out during Alumni Weekend 2017 include the Carolyn B. Hunter Faculty Service Award, Cam Henderson Scholarship Awards, Nancy Pelphrey/Herd Village Scholarship Award, the Nate Ruffin Award, MUAA Club of the Year, and various Awards of Distinction presented by each of Marshall University’s colleges. Last year’s winners were Lester Hicks, a former Herd football player, for Distinguished Alumni; Michael Sellards won for Distinguished Service; and former Herd basketball and track student-athlete, as well as Olympic Silver Medalist in the Skelton, Lea Ann Parsley for Community Achievement.
It all starts with the Third Annual Sons of Marshall Golf outing on Friday, April 21 at 9 a.m. at the Sugarwood Golf Course. To sign up or to ask any questions, call Mike Williams at 740-258-2693.