Football Kickoff Opens to Sold Out Crowd
By KeyAaron Dishman
For many Florida A&M fans and alumni, football season equals social gatherings and rooting for their Rattlers. On Aug. 29, Florida A&M’s booster club held its third annual football kickoff.
Scores of people gathered at the sold out event, which was held at The Moon and hosted by the booster club’s ExecutiveDirector Mickey Clayton. Of the many laughs that occurred during the event, the highlight was a performance by FAMU’s popular Marching 100 band with special guest conductor and Florida A&M’s President Elmira Mangum.
Other university sports were present, including the softball team who assisted with serving guests.
“I think this season is going to be very exciting,” Mangum said. “I encourage people to come to every game – even the away ones, so opponents feel FAMU’s presence.”
Mangum said “there’s more than one way to show your support. You can support with your presence, your voice, your money and your resources.”
Rattlers from near and far gathered to create a crowd that included the football team along with current and former students. All gathered to celebrate the start of the 2015 season. One by one, speakers came up and told jokes, discussed their excitement for the arrival of new Athletic Director Milton Overton and Head Football Coach Alex Wood and the revamped coaching staff and the upcoming season. They also spoke about one of the purposes of the event and the importance behind it.
The event acts as a fundraiser to raise money for the upcoming season. This year, the money raised will go towards helping pay for summer school for Florida A&M’s football players. That money can help maintain their NCAA eligibility and of course, stay on top of their grades. It will also go towards improving the team’s equipment and feeding the team on road games this season.
This year’s event is different from those in recent history, being that all proceeds from this event will be doubled by the booster club; although, they will be trying to replicate last year’s success, where they raised about $500,000.
Clayton said the thing he’s looking forward to most this season is the “return of the excitement at FAMU.”
That excitement starts on Sept. 5 when the Rattlers travel to Tampa to take on the University of South Florida. Their home opener is Sept. 26 against South Carolina State.