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Happy Wednesday, Bulldogs!
Today is the final day of classes for the spring semester, and exams will begin in a couple days. So academically, that is the focus of Bulldog student-athletes (who last semester posted a cumulative 3.02 GPA!) for the next week or so.
But athletically, it’s a great time of year for Bulldog teams competing in NCAA postseason competition. Just last night, both Mississippi State’s men’s and women’s tennis teams were selected to the NCAA Tournament, that coming one day after our women’s golf team made the postseason for a third-straight year.
Coach Ginger Brown-Lemm and the No. 12 women’s golf team are off to Raleigh May 7-9 as the three seed, with hopes to again be one of the six teams to advance to the NCAA Championships. Our Bulldogs placed sixth overall at last year’s NCAA Championship.
For the first time since 2005, the Bulldog women’s tennis team is back in the NCAA Tournament, led by head coach Daryl Greenan, who has done a tremendous job of building the program. MSU travels to Berkeley, Calif., to play Houston in the first round, Friday, May 8.
First-year head men’s tennis coach Matt Roberts has his Bulldogs back in the NCAA Tournament, the 20th time in the last 24 years MSU has made the postseason. The 18th-ranked Bulldogs will travel to Chapel Hill, N.C., where they will play Denver in the first round on Friday, May 8.
ROAD DAWGS BEGINS MONDAY
Road Dawgs, the annual road trip that helps us stay connected with our great Bulldog Family, begins this coming Monday in Meridian. Ben Howland and Manny Diaz will be at the Kahlmus Auditorium on the MSU-Meridian campus beginning at 6 p.m. for that stop.
Dan Mullen, Vic Schaefer and myself will be joining stops along the way, so make sure to join us when we come near you. You can find the full schedule here.
LAST HOME BASEBALL SERIES, THUNDER AND LIGHTNING DEBUTS
A reminder here that our final home baseball series of the year takes places this weekend as our Bulldogs host No. 1 LSU on Thursday, Friday and Saturday. I hope you’ll join us for one last weekend at The Dude as we send off a tremendous class of seniors that includes Wes Rea, Ross Mitchell, Matthew Britton, Trevor Fitts, Seth Heck, Lucas Laster, Jake Vickerson and Cody Walker. We’ll be honoring the seniors before Friday night’s game.
I also want to invite you to stay after the game with us on Saturday for our first-ever movie night at The Dude. Come sit in the outfield grass and watch one of my favorites, The Rookie, on the big screen.
On another baseball note, the SEC Storied documentary “Thunder and Lightning,” featuring former Bulldogs Rafael Palmeiro and Will Clark, will premiere Monday night on the SEC Network. I’ve had a chance to preview the 90-minute film, which brings back wonderful memories of Will, Raph, and the great 1985 Mississippi State baseball team that ushered in a new era of college baseball excitement. I’m of the opinion the wonderful ballparks around the SEC today can be traced directly back to the ’85 Bulldogs and the huge crowds they attracted. You can watch a short preview of the film at this link.
FOOTBALL SEASON TICKETS RECORD SET
We are 136 days away from our 2015 home football opener against LSU (the season opener at Southern Miss is 129 days from now!), and we are just a few hundred season ticket sales away from a new school record. Last year, MSU sold 45,575 season football tickets, and as of this week, thanks to a 95 percent renewal rate and increased demand, fans have already snapped up 45,071 tickets (including expected student sales).
The inventory of available season tickets has increased due to last year’s expansion and a reduction of the visiting teams’ allotment. Previously, we held 7,000 tickets for Alabama and LSU on a reciprocal basis, but beginning this season will only provide 5,000 tickets for those schools. Thus, we now have the ability to sell about 52,000 season tickets to Bulldog fans.
With the Bulldogs coming off five-straight bowl games and having a great home schedule in 2015, now is a great time to purchase season tickets, or to add to your order if you are already an existing ticketholder. (More information here)
As our fans have shown in recent years, a stadium packed with cowbell-ringing Bulldogs creates a great home-field advantage. We hope you’re making plans to join us this fall for another fun year of Bulldog football.
HOME TRACK MEET THIS WEEKEND
While you’re in town for baseball this weekend, we also invite you to the annual Jace Lacoste Invitational hosted by our track and field teams. Competition will be held all day Friday and Saturday, an excellent opportunity to see our ranked men’s and women’s teams in action.
And don’t forget, we host the SEC Championships May 14-16! We’ve made significant upgrades to the facilities recently and look forward to welcoming so many world-class athletes to campus. We’ll have nearly 1,000 student-athletes here to compete for their school, as well as a number of coaches, trainers and media with them. I look forward to showing everyone what great hosts the people of Starkville and Mississippi are.
Lastly, a construction fence has gone up around the MSU softball and tennis venues, as the $6 million project to construct and enhance those facilities is now underway, with a scheduled completion of February 2016. A special thanks to the Bulldog Club members who have helped make this a reality.
Thanks for all you do to support MSU! Have a great rest of the week, and Hail State!
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.