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    State of the Pack: September 22

    September 22, 2023

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    Following our over 31-7 victory over Stony Brook last weekend, our Red Wolves are set to wrap up a three-game home stand Saturday (Sept. 23) as we host Southern Miss in our Sun Belt Conference opener.  We appreciate the home-crowd support we received the last two weeks, and we need a great turnout tomorrow to give us a strong home-field advantage as we begin league play against the Golden Eagles.  We look forward to welcoming hundreds of high school band members to Centennial Bank Stadium to join the “Sound of the Natural State” on the field for our annual “Band Day.”

    The game will also cap off Family Weekend at A-State, with discount tickets for parents and family members of A-State students being available for purchase at

    We’re excited to have 2017 Miss America Savvy Shields Wolfe serving as our honorary team captain during the coin toss and looking forward to recognizing our 2023 Hall of Honor class on the field during halftime.

    Kickoff is set for 6:00 p.m., and the game is being presented by Greenway Equipment.  When gates open at 4:00 p.m., the first 1,000 fans will receive a free cap featuring both the Greenway and Red Wolves logos.  As always, we want to encourage everyone to join us 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.  This season, for the first time, we have four food trucks/vendors (Chick-Fil-A, Lost Pizza Co., Ray’s Rump Shack, Tropical Sno) on site, located on the north side of Tailgate City near the Hijinx Kids Zone, which has an expanded area and includes more inflatables and activities.  Additionally, tailgaters are welcome to bring their own grills and smokers or bring catered food from the restaurant of their choice with them.  Of course, REVELXP continues to offer its turnkey tailgating services, and plots are available starting at just $50.

    Ahead of Saturday’s game, we encourage 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.


    Congratulations to Reggie Arnold (football), Aundrea Gamble (women’s basketball), Brian McCann (men’s golf) and Candon Powell (men’s track and field), this year’s Hall of Honor class.  We’ll celebrate their great accomplishments at our 42nd annual Hall of Honor induction ceremony tonight (Sept. 22) at the Woodard McAlister Family Club inside the Johnny Allison Tower of Centennial Bank Stadium.  Written by Caleb Garner in our Media Relations Department, you can read feature articles about each member of this year’s class by visiting


    We’re proud to be partnering this year with Vet Tix and 1st Tix to provide donated event tickets for military members and first responders, respectively.  Vet Tix is a program that provides donated tickets to all military members and veterans of the U.S. military, as well as immediate family members of service members killed in action.  The 1st Tix program, powered by Vet Tix, provides donated tickets to those currently serving and retired law enforcement officers, firefighters, EMTs, nurses and 911 dispatchers.  We are working with Vet Tix and 1st Tix to provide 300 complimentary tickets to our football games. 


    Our volleyball team is off to its best start since the 2015 season after completing their non-conference schedule with a 10-2 record and is now set to carry a five-match winning streak into Sun Belt Conference play this weekend at Georgia Southern (10-1).  We’ll face the Eagles today (Sept. 22) at 5:00 p.m. and Saturday at noon, and both matches will appear on ESPN+.  Congratulations to freshman Erin Madigan, who was named the Sun Belt Conference Setter of the Week after earning all-tournament recognition at Missouri State’s Bear Invitational.


    Behind a combined 14 top-15 finishers, our men’s and women’s cross country squads swept the team titles last Saturday (Sept. 16) at the Rhodes Invitational in Memphis.  Cash Kunkel led our men’s team with a third-place finish, running a career-best 25:21.5 in the 8K.  In the women’s 5K, freshman Abbey Coberly paced our squad with a season-best mark of 19:00.4 to place fifth overall.  Our Red Wolves return to action next Friday, Sept. 29, at the Chile Pepper Festival in Fayetteville, Ark.


    Playing in five tournaments this fall, our women’s golf team kicked off the 2023-24 schedule last week with a fifth-place place finish among 11 teams at the Jennifer Duke Invitational, hosted by the University of Cincinnati.  We had three student-athletes place among the top-20 individuals at the two-day tournament (Sept. 11-12), including junior Charlotte Menager with a team-best seventh-place finish.  Our Red Wolves will resume competition Sept. 25-26 at the Golfweek Red Sky Classic in Vail, Colo.


    Led by Sun Belt Conference Golfer of the Week Thomas Schmidt, our men’s team kicked off the 2023-24 schedule with a fourth-place finish among 14 teams at the Golfweek Fall Challenge (Sept. 10-12).  We wrapped up the three-day tourney with a 36-under par 828 for the lowest 54-hole score outside of a home event in program history.  Schmidt, a sophomore, recorded the second lowest three-round total by an individual in school history to take home co-medalist honors and collect his first collegiate win.  Our team was back in action at Cincinnati’s Bearcat Invitational earlier this week and is now set to host our annual home tournament, the Bubba Barnett Intercollegiate, Oct. 2-3 at RidgePointe Country Club.


    Our women’s soccer team opened Sun Belt Conference play this week, most recently wrapping up a four-game home stand with a 0-0 tie against Texas State yesterday.  Now standing 0-1-1 in league action, our Red Wolves will next play at Southern Miss on Sunday, Sept. 24, at 1:00 p.m. in an outing that will appear on ESPN+.


    The fall schedule for our women’s tennis team, led by new head coach Sujay Lama, has been completed and includes competition at four tournaments.  Coach Lama also recently added assistant coach Marshall Mordecai to his staff, and we want to welcome him to our Red Wolves family. Our squad picked up three wins at the Belmont/Lipscomb Invite earlier this week and is back in action Oct. 12-16 at the ITA Regionals in Lawrence, Kan.


    We just wrapped up a great year from a licensing standpoint, the best since partnering with Affinity Licensing.  Our royalties collected in the last fiscal year were 33 percent higher than 2021-22.  That included a fourth quarter (April to June) that was up nearly 115 percent from the same period a year ago.  Our total royalties in the 2022-23 year were the highest collected at A-State since 2018-19. This shows several things:  the strength of the Red Wolves brand, the loyalty of our fans and an increasing number of licensees producing merchandise, making it easier for A-State fans everywhere to find and buy.


    We were able to once again participate in the “Extra Yard for Teachers” (EYFT) program this year.  EYFT is an initiative of the College Football Playoff Foundation, which partnered with the Sun Belt Conference to allow us the opportunity to grant six area educators with $1,000 grants. 

    We had hundreds of great applicants, making it a big challenge to choose the recipients.  We congratulate these teachers for earning an EYFT grant:  Cari Brown (Harrisburg 5th grade), Robert Johnson (Tuckerman Band), Melinda Martin (Osceola Star Academy), Jordan McBride (Marion Quiz Bowl), Beth Qualls (Buffalo Island Central community food pantry) and McKenzie Waddell (Riverside High School). 

    We also had a chance to present a seventh award, a $1,000 Donors Choose gift card to go toward playground improvements for the Nettleton Pre-K program at University Heights Elementary School. Congratulations again to the grant recipients and thanks to all the applicants.


    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. 


    Ahead of our 2024 baseball season, head coach Tommy Raffo announced our team has added 20 newcomers that includes five Division-I transfers, five freshmen and 10 junior-college transfers.  Four of our five incoming freshmen signed during the fall signing period.  Eleven different states are represented in the class, as well as two countries – Canada and The Netherlands.


    A-State students and their families are invited to the Family Day Tailgate, sponsored by Student Affairs and the Office of the Chancellor, prior to our football game Saturday (Sept. 23) against Southern Miss. Highlights for the day include family guest passes at the RED WOLF Center from 9:00 a.m. until 3:00 p.m., Red Wolf Walk at 3:45 p.m., followed by the Family Day Tailgate at Cooper Alumni Center from 4:00-5:30 p.m.  Students and their families can enjoy free food, games and more at the tailgate, then head to Centennial Bank Stadium for our Sun Belt opener against the Golden Eagles at 6:00 p.m.  More events and details for the weekend may be found ONLINE.


    This week’s #WolvesUp photo feature members of the A-State “Red Wolf Riders,” a group of Arkansas State University Mechanical Engineering students who are part of the only team in the state that qualified for the final endurance race in the International Baja SAE Competition held in Oshkosh, Wis., in May 2023. The group was part of the student chapters of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME) and the Society for Automotive Engineers (SAE) at A-State.  Dr. Shivan Haran, director and associate professor of mechanical engineering at A-State, mentored the team of mechanical engineering students responsible for the competition vehicle.

    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: September 22. 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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