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April 17, 2009
And it begins ...
It will be a busy, busy weekend in Oxford. Miami will host 11 sporting events over the weekend and several alumni functions in an all-inclusive event dubbed "Spring Sports Extravaganza Weekend". On Friday, the sun was shining bringing warm weather as we began welcoming alumni, family, friends and a myriad of athletes from various schools to campus.
NOTE: Due to potentially inclement weather on Sunday, the baseball and softball games originally scheduled for April 19 have been moved to doubleheaders on Saturday. Softball's doubleheader will begin at 2 p.m. on Saturday, with baseball's twinbill starting at 3 p.m.
The Spring Sports Extravaganza Weekend at Miami began with a football alumni golf outing at Indian Ridge Golf Course in Oxford. Approximately 80 football alumni participated in the golf scramble with a shotgun start at 1 p.m. Former RedHawk football player and current Director of Football Operations J.D. Vonderheide has done a lot to coordinate the football alumni events taking place over the next two days. They are one of three sports celebrating Bicentennial Alumni Reunions this weekend with men's track & field/cross country and baseball alumni also back this weekend. The annual spring football game takes place Saturday at 1 p.m. and fans will have opportunities to purchase season tickets and individual game tickets during the event, including ones for the Sept. 5 RUMBLE at the RIVER versus University of Kentucky, at the Cradle of Coaches Plaza. Get to Yager Stadium tomorrow afternoon for a preview of the 2009 RedHawks under Head Coach Michael Haywood.
Miami's softball team hosted Western Michigan in a doubleheader, sweeping the Broncos 2-1 and 4-2. They marked the RedHawks' sixth-straight conference wins. (RECAP) A change of schedule has been made for Saturday and there will be a doubleheader beginning at 2 p.m.This weekend is "Pooch at the Park Weekend" at Miami softball. Patrons are welcome to bring their (leashed) canine friends to the games, and Miami Athletics is providing treats and watering stations for the pooches. The Women's All-Sport Bicentennial Reunion is Oct. 16-18, but several softball alumni are also back this weekend. One of the RedHawks' recent standouts, Bre Robinson, has been helping out within the athletic department this year and ran the scoreboard at today's games.
On a side note ... while softball was wrapping up, Miami's women's tennis team was concluding their Friday match at Western Michigan. The RedHawks downed the Broncos 4-3 to clinch the Mid-American Conference regular-season title outright! (RECAP) It was the first MAC title for Miami women's tennis since 1999. Congratulations to Head Coach Howard Joffe and the women's tennis team and good luck to them tomorrow as they seek to go undefeated in MAC play when they travel to Bowling Green for a 1 p.m. match.
Track and field kicked off the two-day All-Ohio Championships with 13 schools from around the state participating in the meet. Events began at 2 p.m. with the women's hammer throw, the men's javelin and the decathlon's 100-meter run. It takes a lot of people to help put on such an event, and numerous members of the athletic department along with several Miami varsity teams and club teams have volunteered to help with different aspects of the meet during the two-day stretch. Men's track & field/cross country alumni also were back to watch Friday's action. They will be honored in a special ceremony at Rider Track at noon on Saturday as part of their Bicentennial Reunion Weekend. The women's track and field team is tied for first place heading into tomorrow. Rachel Patterson won the 5,000 for the RedHawks, besting her nearest opponent by more than 15 seconds. Patterson set an All-Ohio Championship record and qualified for the NCAA Mideast Regional (WOMEN'S RECAP) On the men's side, Miami is tied for fourth place. (MEN'S RECAP)
The final Friday event was baseball's game against Buffalo at 6 p.m., which the RedHawks won 15-9. (RECAP) There were two ceremonial first pitches at tonight's game with Head Football Coach Michael Haywood throwing out one of the first pitches, and this year's honorary baseball coach Al Schwegman throwing out the other. Also during pre-game, the Butler County Bombers Little League team took the field with the RedHawks for opening introductions. A phenomenal crowd was on hand for the game. Head Coach Dan Simonds hit a milestone earlier this week as he earned his 100th Miami win on Wednesday when the RedHawks defeated the Cincinnati Bearcats in the Joe Nuxhall Classic. Several baseball alumni also were in attendance at Friday's game. A change of schedule has been made for Saturday and there will be a doubleheader beginning at 3 p.m. Several special events will be taking place tomorrow and the ceremonies will take place prior to the second game, slated for approximately 6 p.m. Miami's oldest living baseball alumnus, Clarence Wheeler, will throw out the first pitch for Saturday's second game. Mr. Wheeler turns 101 years old next week. Miami's baseball alumni also will be honored prior to the second game.
We would be remiss if we didn't give a quick shout-out to Marilyn Young, wife of former Miami sports information director Dave Young whom the baseball press box is named after. For every home baseball game, Marilyn provides home-baked goodies for the people working in the press box ... today's treat was chocolate chip cookies. (Her mint brownies are a definite press box favorite!) Her generosity is truly appreciated!
Although this has been a busy Friday, Saturday promises to be even more action-packed. If you didn't have a chance to get to the first day of Spring Sports Extravaganza Weekend, there are still PLENTY of events yet to attend.
In addition to football's spring game, baseball and softball games, and the conclusion of the All-Ohio Track and Field Championships, Miami soccer will be in action at 4 p.m. for a spring exhibition game. The RedHawks are coming off a 4-1 win over Cincinnati on Tuesday.
If you are interested in purchasing authentic RedHawk gear, there will be an equipment sale at the south end of Yager Stadium. The sale begins at 8:30 a.m. and closes at 12:45 p.m. The sale will resume 45 minutes following the football spring game and will close at 5 p.m.
Saturday Events: 8:30 a.m.-5 p.m. Equipment Sale Will be closed during the spring football game 10 a.m.-5 p.m. All-Ohio Track and Field Championships Noon Honoring Men's Track & Field/Cross Country Alumni at Rider Track 1 p.m. Football Spring Game
2 p.m. Softball vs. Northern Illinois (DH)
3 p.m. Baseball vs. Buffalo (DH)
Baseball Alumni honored prior to Saturday's second game
4 p.m. Soccer vs. Wright State
We've mentioned Bicentennial Reunions a lot in this recap. As Miami University celebrates its bicentennial, the athletic department will celebrate by bringing back its alumni through various reunions throughout the bicentennial year. This weekend is the first of those sport reunions. If you are a former Miami University student-athlete, please go to http://www.muredhawks.com/bicentennial/bicentennial.html for information on your reunion, however, please know that a few dates are still being set and will be posted in the coming months.