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    State of the Pack: September 7

    September 7, 2023

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    Arkansas State University


    Our football team takes the field for the first time at home this season on Saturday, hosting Memphis at 6 p.m. It marks the first of three consecutive home games in the month of September, so make plans to join us Saturday and support Coach Butch Jones’ team. Tickets can be purchased online at, and don’t forget to get ready for game day by visiting our Game Day Guide and downloading the A-State Red Wolves mobile app.

    This season includes some exciting changes for Tailgate City for fans to enjoy. There will be a selection of food trucks open from 2 p.m. until kickoff, in addition to the Hijinx Kid’s Zone and autograph opportunities throughout the season. I look forward to seeing everyone out there at 3:45 p.m. when the Red Wolves come through for the Red Wolf Walk.


    We’re celebrating the 50th season at Centennial Bank Stadium all season-long with multiple exciting promotions, starting with Saturday’s home opener against Memphis. It will be “Paint the Stadium Red Night,” and the first 1,000 fans through the gates will receive a 2023 A-State Football schedule koozie compliments of our game sponsor St. Bernard’s. 

    Then, next Saturday’s game against Stony Brook will be sponsored by Coca-Cola, and the first 1,000 fans will receive a special commemorative Coke bottle featuring the logo celebrating the 50th season being played inside what is now known as Centennial Bank Stadium.

    The full list of game themes, promotions and giveaways for the football season can be found here.


    Sujay Lama joined us in August as our women’s tennis head coach, and we’re excited to have such an outstanding coach and person here to lead that program. He is a proven winner with a track record of success, guiding teams to multiple conference titles and NCAA Tournament appearances in his 28 seasons of collegiate coaching experience. 


    Coach Brian Gerwig’s volleyball team has won five of their first six matches to open the season, including a sweep of the A-State Invitational to open the season, giving them their best start since the 2015 season! The Red Wolves are on the road for eight more matches and return home Sept. 29-30 to host Louisiana. Good luck to them this weekend at the Saluki Bash in Carbondale, Illinois!


    Our cross country squads began their season last Saturday at the Memphis Twilight Classic, with a pair of top-25 finishers. Both teams were voted to win the league in the Sun Belt preseason poll, and will be back in action next Saturday, Sept. 16 at the Rhodes Invitational in Memphis. 


    Head Coach Tommy Raffo added a pair of new assistants to his coaching staff over the summer. Peyton Traywick was hired to coach the Red Wolves’ pitchers while Bryan Hodge will assist in coaching the offense and A-State’s catchers. He also named Austen Izzio and Jakob Frederick to off-field positions. 

    Our baseball alumni weekend was also announced this week, and we are looking forward to welcoming back former players and their families during Homecoming Weekend (Oct. 20-21). Friday night includes a cookout and home run derby at The Tom, while Saturday features the annual golf scramble. 


    Both our men’s and women’s basketball teams recently unveiled their 2023-24 schedules, and we’re very excited for this upcoming season. There will be many opportunities to watch head coach Destinee Rogers’ women’s team this winter – a total of 17 home games after opening the season at South Dakota State on Nov. 6.

    Bryan Hodgson’s first season features a challenging slate with several exciting home dates to look forward to. Get an early look at our men’s team on October 25, as they host Trevecca Nazarene in an exhibition game.

    Season tickets are on sale now, so don’t miss out on what we hope will be an exciting season of basketball inside First National Bank Arena.


    Speaking of men’s basketball, we recently announced our revamped 6th Man Club, which is an integral part of the men’s basketball program that reinforces and advances goals and initiatives set by first-year Head Coach Bryan Hodgson and his staff. New this year are All-American and All-Conference giving levels. You can join the 6th Man Club by making an annual donation of $1,200 (All-American) or $600 (All-Conference). We also offer monthly payment options for both All-American and All-Conference giving levels.

    By becoming a 6th Man member, you are directly supporting student-athlete development and various program needs as determined by the coaching staff and athletics department. Please consider joining the 6th Man Club today!

    Also, make plans to support our men’s basketball team at the Boots and Ballers banquet, set for Oct. 26 inside First National Bank Arena. It’s a great event that provides an opportunity to be around our student-athletes and coaches, and show your support before the season starts. More details will be announced soon.


    Schedules for men’s and women’s golf came out earlier in August, and both teams get their seasons underway early next week! Coach Mike Hagen’s men’s team heads to Pawleys Island, S.C., for the Golfweek Fall Invitational (Sept. 10-12), while Coach M.J. Desbiens Shaw takes her women’s team to the Jennifer Duke Invitational (Sept. 11-12) in Cincinnati. Good luck to both teams as they get started. 

    Both teams will host their annual home tournaments in October, with the men’s team hosting the Bubba Barnett Intercollegiate Oct. 2-3 at RidgePointe Country Club while the women will host the Lady Red Wolves Classic two weeks later at Sage Meadows. 


    We also unveiled our bowling schedule recently, with the season set to begin October 13-15 at the Penguin Classic in Youngstown, Ohio. Fresh off an appearance in the national championship match, Coach Justin Kostick and his team will host the Mid-Winter Invitational in February.


    Our new 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 Miya Garrett, Director of External Engagement & Donor Experience. Miya has a job that touches so many of our departments and teams, and she carries it all with a calmness that comes from being ahead of the curve in terms of being prepared and organized. Those traits allow her to be very effective while maintaining a great attitude and an open and positive manner.


    The new Judd Hill Farmer’s Market Building recently opened with a ribbon-cutting ceremony, significantly expanding the farmer’s market’s operations while adding indoor spaces and classroom facilities to the area. The new facility extends the ability of the operation to be open more weekends per year, as well as provide the opportunity for student-based products, educational outreach and other agri-business entrepreneurial projects to have a home on the A-State University Farm.


    This week’s #WolvesUp photos feature the great crowd at our first “Live with the Red Wolves” radio show of the season with their WolvesUp, as well as Chancellor Dr. Todd Shields and Provost/Executive Vice Chancellor Dr. Calvin White, Jr. at graduation. 

    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

    Continued here:
    State of the Pack: September 7. 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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