By Mike AldenUMC Athletic Director
It is midway through the month of September and I must tell you how pleased I am with the start to the school year for all of our sports teams. The Missouri football, volleyball, soccer and cross country teams have each opened their seasons with positive results.
Despite a sobering loss at Bowling Green, I am extremely encouraged about the future of the Missouri football program under the leadership of Head Coach Gary Pinkel. Before more than 60,000 fans and a national television audience, the Tigers came out of the gates in full stride, beating defending Big Ten Conference champion Illinois in the State Farm Showdown at the Edward Jones Dome in St. Louis. Making his first collegiate start, redshirt freshman quarterback Brad Smith led the Tigers to an impressive 33-20 win. The Youngstown, Ohio, native electrified the crowd with his open-field running, and his poise in the pocket, running and throwing for more than 100 yards each in the process. In the home opener against Ball State, the Tigers scored 27 points in the third quarter on their way to a 41-6 win over the Cardinals. The defense created five turnovers, while Smith led the offense with 281 yards of total offense. Off to a 2-0 start, the Tigers ran into a dynamic offensive attack at Bowling Green. The preseason favorite in the Mid American Conference's North Division, BGSU executed its offense to perfection in a 51-28 win over the Tigers. After a bye week, Coach Pinkel's team will return to action on Sept. 28 against the Trojans of Troy State.
There are plenty of tickets available for the 1 p.m. kickoff. If you haven't had a chance to see our young team, I would encourage you to make the trip to Columbia.
There are two pre-game events that should be a part of each trip to Faurot Field. The Tiger Walk takes place every home game when our football team arrives at the Tom Taylor Building two hours prior to kickoff. The team walks across the new pedestrian bridge crossing Providence, eventually making its way to the locker room in the South End Zone. Fans are encouraged to line the route and cheer the Tigers as they make their way to Memorial Stadium. The Mizzou Experience is an exciting new activity area for all fans. Located in the Hearnes Center Fieldhouse, families can enjoy interactive games for children, food and other pregame festivities.The Mizzou Experience opens three hours before kickoff, and admission is free.
The Missouri volleyball team won 10 of its first 11 matches, capturing tournament titles at Alabama's Crimson Tide Tourney and the Quality Inn Tiger Invitational. Susan and Wayne Kreklow have their team poised for a third straight trip to the NCAA tournament.
Our women's soccer team has its sites set on an invitation to the NCAA field. Bryan Blitz has led his team to early season wins over Illinois, Indiana and Ohio State of the Big Ten. The Tigers have already knocked off 23rd ranked Miami-Florida, while playing 10th ranked Florida State to a tie.
The Missouri Cross Country teams opened the fall campaign by winning the Tiger Invitational. Freshmen Tim Ross and Valerie Lauver took the individual honors.
So as you can see, the fall sports season is off and running. For the very latest in information on all of our sports teams, be sure to keep updated at our official Website (www.mutigers.com).
Later this fall, construction will begin on our new 15,000-seat arena.
Upon completion, this facility will be the finest on-campus arena in the nation. You can follow the progress of this project through www.mutigers.com. We have a camera on the roof of the Hearnes Center that will allow you to watch the construction through your home or office computer.
There is plenty of excitement ahead of us in the coming months, so sit back and enjoy, because Mizzou is definitely on the move!
As always, please feel free to contact with any questions or comments by calling 573-882-2055, or by e-mail at email@example.com.