MCGILL: Celebrity Bowl-A-Thon kicks off busy spring game weekend

By Chuck McGill

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. – The Green-White spring football game weekend is rolling toward us, so it is time to pin down some details that will surely excite Thundering Herd fans.

Marshall University’s annual end-of-spring game will be held Saturday, April 17 at 3 p.m. All tickets are $5, although seating is reserved and not general admission like previous spring football events. Parking is $20 in the West Lot, although tailgating will not be permitted because of COVID-19 protocols. Students can pick up their complimentary ticket at the Gate C ticket window starting at 1 p.m., on the day of the spring game, and can purchase guest tickets at $5 each.

Please purchase tickets online HERE

The prospect of no tailgating is a bummer to all of us, the one wobbly pin that we thought might fall our way and didn’t, but there is another event that will be a strike for the Herd faithful. On Friday, April 16, the night before the Green-White game, first-year head football coach Charles Huff and the Quarterback Club are giving fans the opportunity to win an evening with legendary Marshall athletes … and a few other high-profile names.

The auction is underway at HerdZone – CLICK HERE FOR THE AUCTION – and will run through Tuesday, April 13 at 5 p.m. Fans have the chance to bid on their favorite Marshall celebrity. The winning bid will allow a fan and three guests to join the celebrity bowler at Strike Zone Bowling Center in Huntington.

All participants will receive an exclusive autographed bowling pin, food and drinks, access to a silent auction and a photo opportunity with their celebrity bowler.

All proceeds from the event will go toward renovations to the Shewey Athletic Building.

Because of the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, capacity will be limited to the winners of each auction. Bidding starts at $600, and some bids have started to roll in.

Here’s a list of celebrity bowlers (an additional name or two could appear in the coming days):

Aaron Dobson

Chad Pennington

Charles Huff

Chris Massey

Clint Trickett

Cody Slate

Dani Derricott

Dan D’Antoni and Tony Kemper

DeNero Marriott

Doug Chapman

Doug Legursky

Jason Starkey

John Grace

Max Yates

Melvin Cunningham

Mike Bartrum

Ralph Street

Shannon Morrison

Steve Sciullo

This event kicks off a busy weekend in Huntington. On Saturday morning, there will be an Alumni Football Game at Joan C. Edwards Stadium at 11 a.m. Admission comes with the spring game ticket.

At 12:30 p.m., will be the annual spring fountain ceremony at the center of campus. Details on the fountain ceremony can be found HERE.

Kickoff for the spring game is set for 3 p.m., and Huff wants to replicate the fall gameday experience as much as possible. That means Marshall football will play a real game for its final of 15 practices during spring drills.

“It’s the 15th opportunity for us to get better,” Huff said. “For us, especially in Year 1, it’s an opportunity for us to work the game/pre-game routine. That’s going to be new. We’re going to do something a little different; we’re going to actually go through a full Saturday morning routine. So, we’re going to go to the hotel Saturday morning, we’re going to have chapel, we’re going to have our meal, we’re going to load the bus, we’re going to come over and do the Herd walk, we’re going to go in the locker room, we’re going to come out in our stretch groups so our guys get the true routine.

“It’s all new. How we eat pre-game meal is new. How we have chapel is new. How we have pre-game walk-through is new. For me it’s an opportunity to get a practice run at all of that.”

In addition to football, the Marshall softball team is home Friday through Sunday that weekend for a four-game set against FAU. The Herd baseball team hosts FIU on the same days for a four-game series. On Sunday, the day after the Green-White spring game, the Marshall men’s soccer team will conclude the regular season against nationally ranked Charlotte in a match that could – should? – ultimately decide the Conference USA champion and winner of the league’s automatic NCAA berth. From bowling with Herd dignitaries to a real, live football game to the fountain ceremony to multiple other sports in action, there’s no reason not to spend the weekend with the Herd.

Now, spare what you can and get those bowling bids in.

Chuck McGill is the Assistant Athletic Director for Fan/Donor Engagement and Communications at Marshall University and a nine-time winner of the National Sports Media Association West Virginia Sportswriter of the Year award. In addition to’s Word on the Herd, McGill is the editor of Thundering Herd Illustrated, Marshall’s official athletics publication. Follow him on Twitter (@chuckmcgill) and Instagram (wordontheherd).

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