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What an eventful week it’s been since my last column! I couldn’t be happier to be traveling in the month of June because our Bulldogs are still playing rather than because it’s time for vacation. A big congratulations goes out to Coach Cohen’s team and all of our fans for winning the NCAA Starkville Regional and advancing to the Super Regional in Charlottesville, Virginia.
We had over 60,000 people come through the gates over the course of the weekend and averaged an impressive 10,000-plus fans for each of the four Mississippi State games. I want to personally thank each and every one of our faithful Bulldog baseball fans for making it such a special experience, and one we hope to have again in the near future.
There’s no place like Dudy Noble for baseball.
TRACK AND FIELD AT NCAA CHAMPIONSHIPS
Our last teams still in play along with baseball, Coach Dudley’s track and field teams are nearing the conclusion of what has been a truly impressive season. We’ll have 13 total Bulldogs representing Our State at the NCAA Track & Field Championships in Oregon beginning today and we are incredibly proud of such an outstanding group of student-athletes.
One of our stars in Oregon is sophomore All-American and Byhalia, Mississippi, native Erica Bougard, the indoor pentathlon National Champion, who was named the USTFCCCA South Regional Woman’s Field Athlete of the Year earlier this week and will be competing in three different events this week.
I’ll direct you here for more information on how you can keep up with Erica and our entire collection of competitors.
TENNIS IMPRESSES IN CLASSROOM
The awards keep coming for Per Nilsson’s men’s tennis program. Following an outstanding season ending with a run to the NCAA Men’s Tennis Sweet 16, the Bulldogs have been recognized by the NCAA for earning a multiyear Academic Progress Rate in the top 10 percent of teams around the nation.
The men’s tennis squad’s recognition is the fourth such for a Mississippi State program, joining softball in 2009 and 2010 and women’s golf in 2005.
Each year, the NCAA honors selected Division I sports teams by publicly recognizing their latest multiyear NCAA Division I Academic Progress Rate (APR). This announcement is part of the overall Division I academic reform effort and is intended to highlight teams that demonstrate a commitment to academic progress and retention of student-athletes by achieving the top APRs within their respective sports. The APR accounts for eligibility, retention and graduation and provides a measure of each team's academic performance.
FOOTBALL OPENS 2013 IN NATIONAL TV TIME SLOT
As we announced yesterday, Coach Mullen’s football team will be opening the 2013 season in a big way, playing Oklahoma State in Houston on August 31 for the Texas Kickoff Classic to be shown on ABC at 2:30 p.m., with some areas receiving the broadcast on ESPN2. We’re excited about this SEC-Big 12 match-up and having the opportunity to showcase our school to the entire country on the first weekend of college football.
I encourage you to purchase tickets for the event through our ticket office, where we have been allotted 10,500 seats for Bulldogs to sit together in Houston. I’m excited about opening the season, and while we have much to do between now and then, I’m looking forward to seeing you all there. More information on tickets can be found here.
We appreciate what you do for Mississippi State Athletics and want to encourage you to get others involved. There are three things you can do to help the athletic department at Mississippi State reach its desired goals –
1. Buy Season Tickets
2. Financially Support the Bulldog Club
3. Get Others To Do The Same
Thanks for taking the time to read this Update.