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      State of the Pack: March 1

      March 1, 2023

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      Arkansas State University


      Congratulations to Director of Track & Field/Cross Country Dr. Jim Patchell and our entire men’s and women’s indoor track and field teams, which swept the Sun Belt Conference Indoor Championships for the fourth-consecutive year, becoming the league’s first program to accomplish the feat since 2001-04!

      We have now won a combined 24 conference titles between men’s and women’s cross country, indoor and outdoor track and field under Coach Patchell.  A-State is the all-time winningest program in conference indoor history, owning 11 men’s titles and eight women’s crowns.

      Camryn Newton-Smith has also punched her ticket to the NCAA Indoor Track and Field Championships after posting a conference-record pentathlon score earlier this season.  She totaled a Sun Belt and school-record score of 4,356 points at the Texas Tech Multis in January, a mark that led the nation for much of the year and ranks second in the NCAA entering the championships.  Good luck to Camryn when she competes March 10 in the pentathlon at the Albuquerque Convention Center!


      Our Athletics Department recently announced a 10-year extension with LEARFIELD, our multimedia rights partner, and we’re excited that we’ve since expanded our relationship with the well-known industry leader to include its Amplify division as part of a holistic revenue solution designed to serve our Red Wolves fans. They will help us be able to reach more fans and potential donors and grow our base through new ticket sales and donations. I want to thank our Red Wolves Foundation staff and board, as well as the LEARFIELD Amplify team, for coming together to make this happen.


      Our men’s and women’s basketball teams claimed first-round victories yesterday at the Sun Belt Conference Championship.  Our women’s team defeated ULM for their first victory at the league tournament since 2017, and we’re now set to play Georgia Southern today at 5:00 p.m.  Our men’s team won its initial game at the conference tourney for the third-straight year after topping Coastal Carolina, and we will now face Troy in the second round tomorrow at 2:00 p.m.  Both games will appear on ESPN+.  Good luck to all our Red Wolves in their upcoming games!


      Congrats to sophomore guard Izzy Higginbottom on being named the Sun Belt Women’s Basketball Newcomer of the Year, as well as her selection to the all-conference team.  Averaging a team-best 15.7 points per game, she is our first women’s basketball player to earn the league’s Newcomer recognition since Tanisha Johnson in 1999.


      Congratulations to sophomore men’s basketball guard Avery Felts, who has been selected to Academic All-District by the College Sports Communicators (CSC).  The honor recognizes the nation’s top student-athletes for their combined performances in competition and in the classroom, and Avery now advances to CSC’s Academic All-America ballot.  He carries a 3.65 cumulative GPA in civil engineering and has played in all 32 games this season with 26 starts.


      We were proud to recognize our student-athletes who earned a place on our Fall 2022 Athletics Director’s Honor Roll during halftime at our home men’s basketball game against Troy on Feb. 16.  Posting at least a 3.0 GPA last semester, we had 203 AD Honor Roll members representing 57 percent of all our student-athletes who collectively achieved an all-department 3.06 GPA.  Out of the 203 student-athletes on last semester’s list, 50 posted a 4.0 GPA for the second most over the last decade.  Congrats to all our student-athletes appearing on our AD Honor Roll!


      All season long, A-State students had the chance to hit a half-court shot for a semester of free tuition.  Through 32 combined home basketball games this season, no one hit the shot. That meant all A-State students had a chance to come onto the floor and shoot at the conclusion of the last women’s basketball home game of the season.  And, the second student in line, Cooper Melder from Cabot, swished the shot and set off a big celebration. Congratulations to Cooper, and a big thank you to Dr. Todd Shields and John and Marsha Kitterman for making this half-court shot possible.


      Our baseball team opened the 2023 season Feb. 17 and is off to a 6-3 start after sweeping a midweek doubleheader against Mississippi Valley State yesterday.  In the midst of a 12-game home stand, our Red Wolves carry a three-game winning streak into this weekend’s series against Missouri State at Tomlinson Stadium.  The series will include a doubleheader Saturday beginning at 2:00 p.m. and conclude Sunday with a 1:00 p.m. outing.  Also, a reminder that you can purchase a $2 general admission ticket for all of our Tuesday contests, which will also feature a different $2 concession item each game.


      Our entire 2023 football schedule with dates was announced last Friday and features six Saturday home games, including three-straight September contests at Centennial Bank Stadium for the first time in school history.  We play our season opener Sept. 2 at Oklahoma, but then return to Jonesboro to host Memphis (Sept. 9), Stony Brook (Sept. 16) and Southern Miss (Sept. 23).  Our additional three home games will be played Oct. 21 (vs Coastal Carolina), Nov. 4 (vs Louisiana) and Nov. 18 (vs Texas State).

      We hope you join us on our home game days by committing to all six games at Centennial Bank Stadium.  Thank you for your support of our football program – it not only helps our student-athletes, but it also elevates the fan experience by creating a great game-day atmosphere and home-field advantage.

      As a reminder, the early renewal period for season tickets ends March 17, and anyone renewing their tickets by that date will receive two additional single-game tickets in the upper east stands for our home game against Memphis.  Additionally, anyone renewing their tickets by March 17 will be entered into a drawing for four tickets in the Woodard McAlister Club and one premium parking pass for the game of their choice.

      Both renewals and new ticket purchases can be accommodated by visiting the Red Wolves Foundation in the south end zone building of Centennial Bank Stadium or by calling 870-972-2401.


      Our football team’s first spring-camp practice is scheduled for March 9, and our Pack Day Spring Game will be played April 15.  During our home men’s basketball game on Feb. 18, we were excited to introduce 15 newcomers who are part of our top-ranked recruiting class and also participating in our upcoming spring camp.  It was great to hear from Coach Jones during halftime as well, and we’re looking forward to having our Red Wolves back on the field this spring.  We’ll be announcing fan activities and events surrounding our Spring Game, and we hope you’ll make plans to join us at Centennial Bank Stadium on April 15 to get an early look at our football team in action.


      It was exciting to have our nationally-ranked bowling team host its annual Mid-Winter Invitational Feb. 17-19 at the Hijinx Family Entertainment Center, where we opened Baker best-of-seven bracket play with a perfect 300 for the first time in program history.  Congrats to Brooklyn Buchanan on being named the tournament’s MVP.  Our Red Wolves are back in action this weekend (March 3-5) at Nebraska’s Big Red Invite.


      As announced this past February, an endowment gift made to Arkansas State University will help provide leadership support for the Black Student Association (BSA).  The $50,000 endowment created the Thomas and Billye Hill Black Student Association Endowed Leadership Fund.  The endowment from Dr. Thomas and Billye Hill will provide financial support to the president of the BSA.  The funds will enable the student president to devote more time to leadership activities.  The endowment funds can also be used to support activities including attending leadership conferences and purchasing leadership literature.  The Hills met and married while students at A-State in the 1970s.

      It was great to have them both at our Homecoming football game last season and to have the opportunity to recognize Dr. Hill, who is an Olympic Medal winner and a member of our Athletics Hall of Honor, during the game.


      This week’s #WolvesUp photos features former A-State student-athletes Antonio Warren (football) with his daughter, Ava, and Ronnie (Maglaughlin) Thomas (women’s basketball) with her daughter, Hayden.  The girls were teammates on their 3rd grade basketball team at Wynne.

      Our second photo features A-State alumni Van Provence, Katey Provence, Sandra Provence and Bill Provence with their Wolves Up at Mendenhall Glacier in Alaska.

      Remember to use the hashtag #WolvesUp in your social posts and tweet your photos to me @JeffPurinton if you have any pictures with your Wolves Up! or promoting A-State.  We will select photos to feature in each edition of State of the Pack.

      Remember to use the hashtag #WolvesUp in your social posts and tweet your photos to me @JeffPurinton if you have any pictures with your Wolves Up! or promoting A-State.  We will select photos to feature in each edition of State of the Pack.


      View the list of scheduled events, broadcast information, start time and stat links on our composite calendar.  (Note:  All times are listed in Central Time.)  Access live stats from your desktop or mobile device by visiting


      Season and single-game tickets for our fall and winter sports are available by visiting or calling the A-State Ticket Office at 870-972-2781.  You can contact the Red Wolves Foundation at 870-972-2401 for additional information and/or to purchase tickets in our premium areas.

      Read more:
      State of the Pack: March 1. Article may or may not reflect the views of KLEK 102.5 FM or The Voice of Arkansas Minority Advocacy Council

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