Excitement builds for action-packed OctoberFestival of Sports
Nationally-ranked Golden Eagle football team hosts Tennessee State to highlight weekend of non-stop action
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COOKEVILLE, Tenn. — Pack a weekend full of meaningful games, triumphant homecomings and rallies for a cause, then throw in some crisp, cool fall weather Upper-Cumberland-style, and you get the OctoberFestival of Sports at Tennessee Tech coming up Oct. 14-16.
It’s a weekend jam-packed full of action culminating with the Golden Eagle football team, sitting atop the Ohio Valley Conference at 3-0, hosting Tennessee State at 7 p.m. Saturday night for the right to stay unbeaten.
It isn’t all about football, on this weekend, however.
The action begins at 3 p.m. Friday with the Think Pink soccer match between the Golden Eagles and Murray State. With the backdrop a crucial late-season conference match, the Golden Eagles and their fans will do their part to support National Breast Cancer Awareness Month and Susan G. Komen for the Cure.
The team will accept donations at the gate as well as toss pink T-shirts to the crowd and don pink wristbands during game action to show their support for breast cancer patients and survivors. All donations will go to support the Komen foundation, which is dedicated to education and research about causes, treatment and the search for a cure. Admission is free.
At the conclusion of the soccer game, fans with reservations can make their way to an event honoring one of Tech’s most accomplished alumni — A Night with PGA Champion Scott Stallings.
The dinner will begin at 6:30 p.m. at Leslie Towne Center and will give fans and supporters a chance to catch up with the Greenbrier Classic champion and rising professional star.
Stallings played at Tech from 2003-07 and was a two-time OVC Player of the Year as well as a Division I All-American. He turned pro in June 2007 and earned his PGA Tour card in 2011. He won his first tournament on July 31, making a birdie on the first playoff hole at the Greenbrier Classic.
For those more inclined toward nonstop action, the Tennessee Tech volleyball team won’t fail to disappoint, hosting SIU Edwardsville at 7 p.m. Friday. Admission is free.
The action resumes at 2 p.m. Saturday as the Golden Eagle volleyball squad hosts Eastern Illinois in a pivotal matchup of squads battling for a berth in the OVC Tournament. Admission is free.
Then, the action shifts outside the Eblen Center to Tucker Stadium as the Tech football team, off to their best start since 2000 and ranked No. 21 nationally in the FCS Coaches Poll and No. 23 by the Sports Network, takes on in-state foe Tennessee State.
In addition to having OVC title implications, the game is also one of three the Golden Eagles play annually with the Sgt. York Trophy at stake. The Magic 98.5 Tailgate Park, located just west of the stadium, opens at 4 p.m.
Entertainment during the game will be non-stop as the Golden Eagle Marching Band welcomes a visit from the nationally-known Aristocrat of Bands, of Tennessee State. The Golden Eagle Marching Band will make its regular appearance at the Magic 98.5 tailgate park and on the field for the pregame show, while both bands will perform halftime shows.
In its 70-year history, the Golden Eagle Marching Band has become synonymous with Tennessee Tech football. Performing regularly at Tech halftime shows, the Golden Eagle Marching Band has built a varied repertoire over its history including jazz, swing, show tunes, R&B, standards and popular classics. The Golden Eagle Marching Band also performs at the annual Homecoming Parade and many other functions across the Tennessee Tech campus and the Cookeville community.
Founded in 1946, the Tennessee State Aristocrat of Bands has put together a distinguished resume in its 65-year history. Along with providing entertainment for all halftime events at home Tennessee State football games, the Aristocrat of Bands has also gained exposure on the national stage, appearing at several NFL halftime shows and at the CMT Music Awards in 2005.
Fans who have seen the Aristocrat of Bands join the Tech band in Tucker Stadium in the past have raved about the halftime energy from the two in-state music machines.
The football game is also designated Scout Night, with free admission offered for Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts with $1 tickets available for family members. Tickets are available by calling (931) 372-3940 or visiting TTUSports.com.
The weekend of action concludes Sunday with the Golden Eagle soccer team’s Senior Day outing against Austin Peay at 2 p.m. at Tech Soccer Field.
Four-year senior defender Lindsey Reed will be honored prior to the final home match of the season, along with goalkeeper Mary Gray Johnson and student assistant Krista Kaump. Admission to the match is free.