My family and our executive team were excited to host our Student-Athlete Advisory Committee’s “Friendsgiving” event at our house last week, enjoying a great evening of food and fellowship with some of our many student-athletes who represent our University so well. We also had some very high-level competition going on at the ping-pong table! Our entire Red Wolves Family would like to wish everyone and their families a happy Thanksgiving! We are grateful for the tremendous support provided by our fans, alumni and community, so thank you for everything you do for A-State Athletics and our student-athletes. We hope everyone enjoys their Thanksgiving Day tomorrow, and we look forward to celebrating the holiday weekend with you at our basketball and football home games this Friday, Saturday and Sunday.
We’re proud to be honoring 15 of our student-athletes for their contributions to our football program at this Saturday’s game against Troy as part of our pregame Senior Day activities. We hope to see everyone at Centennial Bank Stadium a little early to support our team and senior class at the pregame recognition. Red Wolf Walk will take place at Halsey Thrasher Harpole Tailgate City at 12:15 p.m.
Congrats to Phoebe Harpole, Gertie Langford, Olivia Luther, Abigail Miller, Darby Stotts and Aliyah Williamson, who all represented our women’s soccer team on the Academic All-District Team. The honor goes to the nation’s top student-athletes for their performances on the field and in the classroom. To qualify, student-athletes must have completed at least one season at their current institution while maintaining a cumulative 3.50 GPA and being a starter or key reserve. All six standouts will now appear on the Academic All-America ballot.
NCAA CROSS COUNTRY CHAMPIONSHIPS, ALL-REGION SELECTIONS
Another strong season for our cross country program came to a close with Jaybe Shufelberger competing in the NCAA Championships. She became our third women’s runner to ever compete at the meet, and joined Jacob Pyeatt from our men’s team as United States Track & Field and Cross Country Association (USTFCCCA) All-Region selections this year. Jacob helped lead our men’s team to their second consecutive Sun Belt title, and Jaybe was part of our women’s squad that finished runner-up at the league championships.
LOU GROZA AWARD
Congratulations to true freshman Dominic Zvada on being named one of 20 semifinalists for the Lou Groza Award, issued annually since 1992 to the nation’s top collegiate placekicker. Dominic has made 15-of-16 field goal attempts this year, including one covering 56 yards that is tied for the third longest in school history. He became our fifth all-time football player ever named a semifinalist for the prestigious award, joining Blake Grupe (2019), Brian Davis (2012 and 2013), Josh Arauco (2008) and Jeff Caldwell (1994). This year’s finalists will be announced Nov. 29 and honored at the 31st annual Lou Groza Collegiate Placekicker Award Banquet on Dec. 5 in Palm Beach County.
We are excited to have Zach Patterson and Ron Carroll expanding their roles within our Athletics Department as they will both be taking on new duties with the A-State Lettermen’s Club while retaining their other current administrative responsibilities. Zach, our Director for Annual Fund and Premium Seating, and Ron, our Assistant Athletics Director for Sports Medicine, will be working alongside the Lettermen’s Club Board to keep letterwinners engaged with Arkansas State University, the Athletics Department, former teammates, the community, alumni and many others. It is our goal to help raise awareness about Lettermen’s Club initiatives and create new opportunities for growth, special events and reunions celebrating our former student-athletes.
SUN BELT CONFERENCE TOURNAMENT RUN
Entering the Sun Belt Conference Tournament as the No. 6 seed out of the West Division, our women’s volleyball team made a strong run to the quarterfinals and narrowly missed their first trip to the semifinals since 2018 after taking Troy to five sets. Our Red Wolves still appeared in the quarterfinals for the first time since 2019 and won at least two matches in the tourney for the first time since 2018. Congrats to Macey Putt as well on becoming just the sixth player in program history to post 1,000 kills and 1,000 digs while also being named to the Academic All-District Team.
We’re excited to have basketball season underway and looking forward to this weekend’s games at First National Bank Arena. Our men’s team kicked off a four-game home stretch with a 70-64 win over UT Martin yesterday and will be back in action this Friday, Nov. 25, when we host Prairie View A&M at 7:00 p.m. Our women’s team collected a 63-57 win over Utah State last Saturday, and while we dropped our last game against Oklahoma, our Red Wolves were within four points of the 22nd-ranked Sooners late in the third quarter. Our women’s team returns to the court this Saturday, hosting Kansas City at 11:00 a.m. at First National Bank Arena.
LPGA QUALIFYING SCHOOL
We’re proud of women’s senior golfer Olivia Schmidt and her performance at the LPGA Qualifying School – Stage II, where she narrowly missed gaining professional status by only one stroke. Congratulations to Olivia on an impressive showing with some of the world’s elite players!
Congratulations to freshman Karli VanDuinen, who earned her first career all-tournament honors after leading our women’s bowling team to a third-place finish at Stephen F. Austin’s Ladyjack Classic. Ranked sixth in the nation, our Red Wolves return to action January 20-22 at the Northeast Classic hosted by Sacred Heart.
We would like to use this space this week to help bring awareness to Arkansas State University’s Pack Support, which serves as the one-stop resource for students seeking campus resources, information and extra guidance. Pack Support connects students, parents, faculty, and staff to the understanding or navigation of university procedures and resources via quick, effective communication. You can learn more by clicking here.
GET YOUR WOLVES UP!
This week’s #WolvesUp photos feature our Red Wolves Dancers in Halsey Thrasher Harpole Tailgate City during Red Wolves Walk and this year’s Homecoming King Colten Sedman and Homecoming Queen Sydney Stauffer at Centennial Bank Stadium.
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.
Season and single-game tickets for our fall and winter sports are available by visiting AStateRedWolves.com/Tickets 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.
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State of the Pack: Nov. 23. Article may or may not reflect the views of KLEK 102.5 FM or The Voice of Arkansas Minority Advocacy Council