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    State of the Pack: October 20

    October 20, 2023

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    Arkansas State University


    Our Red Wolves have won three of the last four games entering Saturday’s 6 p.m. Sun Belt Conference game against Coastal Carolina, and we look forward to welcoming a great Homecoming crowd to Centennial Bank Stadium.  The first 1,000 fans through the gates will receive a “50 Seasons Celebration” poster featuring both original and current photos of our home stadium.  We’ll have a packed halftime show, which will feature the announcement of our Homecoming King and Queen, a recognition of this year’s Distinguished Alumni class and a performance by the Sound of the Natural State.

    We’re excited to have Arkansas State University alumnus and highly-decorated track & field athlete Dr. Thomas Hill serving as our honorary team captain during the coin toss.  We want to continue to encourage everyone to join us before the game at 3:45 p.m. in Halsey Thrasher Harpole Tailgate City at Mike Watson Park for our Red Wolf Walk.

    Our Athletics Department and REVELXP have made adjustments to our premier tailgating area this year in an effort to enhance the fan experience.  We recently published answers to some of the questions we see most often regarding tailgating at our home football games.  We think the information and map located on will be a valuable resource for our fans, and we will continue to update all tailgating details on the web page.

    Ahead of Saturday’s game, we want to remind fans to check out our Game Day Guide, which includes a game-day timeline, flipcard and stadium map to go along with comprehensive information about mobile ticketing, the stadium’s clear-bag policy, Red Wolf Walk, Tailgate City, gate information, parking, student entry and the Team Shop.


    Following a four-match road swing, it was great to see our volleyball team back inside First National Bank Arena last night and watch them pick up a 3-0 win against Southern Miss.  Holding a 12-9 record, our squad will be back in action again tonight against the Golden Eagles at 6:00 p.m., and we hope you can join us to cheer on our Red Wolves.


    We’re excited to honor and recognize six members of our women’s soccer team as part of our Senior Day activities that will be held at 10:50 a.m. prior to our final home game of the season this Sunday at noon against Appalachian State.  We want to thank Summit Dann, Tara Lea, Olivia Luther, Keelyn Peacock, Darby Stotts and Makenna Turley for their hard work and contributions to not only our women’s soccer program, but also Arkansas State University.  We hope you’ll be able to come out and show your support for these outstanding student-athletes.


    Posting the fourth lowest 54-hole score in school history, our women’s golf team won the Lady Red Wolves Classic earlier this week at Sage Meadows Country Club. Congratulations to head coach M.J. Desbiens Shaw and our Red Wolves, who shot a combined 868 to finish atop the 16-team field.  It marked the ninth time we’ve won our home tournament and also gave Coach Desbiens Shaw 15 tournament titles during her time leading our women’s golf program.


    Our men’s golf program and Athletics department mourns the recent passing of Pierce “Bubba” Barnett.  As said on our men’s golf social media pages this week, Bubba was a longtime champion of both A-State golf and junior golf in the area and was instrumental in the creation of a home even for our program back in 1997.  In 2018, that event became known as the Bubba Barnett Intercollegiate.  It is a great source of pride for our team to have won the title bearing our friend’s name earlier this month.  Our condolences go out to his family, friends and the many golfers who got to experience the great game thanks in part to his efforts.


    Congratulations to junior Jacob Pyeatt, who was tabbed this past Wednesday as the Sun Belt Conference Men’s Runner of the Week following a career-best performance at the Arturo Barrios Invitational.  Including Jacob, we had 12 combined men’s and women’s runners eclipse personal-best marks at the meet, which was the final tune-up before we compete at the Sun Belt Conference Championship in Foley, Ala., on Saturday, Oct. 28.  Our men’s team is seeking a third consecutive league crown, and our women’s squad is looking to capture a fourth title in five seasons.


    Ranked second in the nation, our women’s bowling team kicked off the 2023-24 campaign by defeating host Youngstown State 4-0 in a Baker best-of-seven championship match to win the Penguin Classic.  Congratulations to head coach Justin Kostick and our Red Wolves on the fantastic start to the season!  Our women’s bowling team is back in action Oct. 27-29 at the Sunshine State Classic in Orlando, Fla.


    With the start of basketball season just around the corner, head women’s basketball coach Destinee Rogers and junior guard Izzy Higginbottom, as well as head men’s basketball coach Bryan Hodgson and senior guard Caleb Fields, were all in New Orleans earlier this week representing the Red Wolves at the Sun Belt Conference Media Days.  We had three combined student-athletes named Preseason All-Sun Belt Conference, including sophomore guard Terrance Ford Jr. and junior guard Freddy Hicks for the men’s team and Izzy for the women.  We’re looking forward to tipping things off soon – the men’s and women’s schedules are both available on, and tickets are available at this link.


    Our men’s basketball team is set to host a charity exhibition game against the University of Central Arkansas at 7:00 p.m. on Oct. 30 with all ticket proceeds benefitting the Wynne Relief and Recovery Center.  All tickets will be sold as $5 general-admission seating and may be purchased by calling the A-State Ticket Office at 870-972-2781 or by clicking here.  Those wishing to make a donation beyond the $5 admission price may do so by visiting The Wynne Relief and Recovery Center has done an amazing job helping those in need after the community was hit by a devastating tornado on March 1, 2023.  We’re excited about the opportunity for Red Wolves fans to get an early look at our men’s basketball team while supporting a very important cause.


    We want to remind everyone to make plans to support our men’s basketball team at our Boots and Ballers banquet, set for Oct. 26 inside First National Bank Arena.  As I’ve said before, this is a great event that provides a fantastic opportunity for our fans, student-athletes and coaches to interact and get to know each other ahead of the season.  Head coach Bryan Hodgson will introduce the team and deliver remarks at the sixth annual event, which will also include a live and silent auction and much more.  Doors will open at 5:30 p.m., and the official program will be begin at 7:00 p.m. 


    Under the direction of new head coach Sujay Lama, our women’s tennis team enjoyed success last week at the ITA Central Region Championships with 10 combined singles and doubles victories. Now with two fall tournaments under their belts, our Red Wolves return to action Oct. 27-28 at the UCA Challenge.


    New this year, our monthly Pride of the Pack Service Award recognizes staff members, who by their actions, words and deeds help to make the Arkansas State University Department of Intercollegiate Athletics an exceptional place to work.  This month’s Pride of the Pack Service Award winner is Mark Taylor, Assistant Athletics Director for Media Relations.  With his humble and ambitious personality, Mark is an important part of our team and plays a huge role working diligently behind the scenes with such a dedicated approach of making our department better.  He is the epitome of what it means to go above and beyond the call of duty no matter the circumstances.


    The Arkansas State University Alumni Association has announced its selections for the annual Distinguished Alumni Awards, and we’re proud to be recognizing this year’s class at halftime of our Homecoming football game Saturday.  This year’s selections are Dr. Lynita M. Cooksey, Lucinda McDaniel and Randall E. Pope, all of Jonesboro.  You can read more about the award and this year’s honorees by clicking here


    This week’s #WolvesUp photos features Ben Kellums and William Kaloghirou with freshman quarterback Jaylen Raynor at our Live with the Red Wolves radio show at Lost Pizza Co., as well as members of our football team spending time and reading with a class at Jonesboro’s International Studies Magnet School.

    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

    Read more here:
    State of the Pack: October 20. 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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