Friday, September 12, 2008

Homecoming ceremony to honor past athletes

Issue date: 9/12/08

By Anthony Fenech
Staff Writer

In honor of Finch Fieldhouse and Rose Arena making way to the newly renovated CMU Events Center in the near future, 70 former athletes – 35 each from both venues – have been chosen to the All-Finch Fieldhouse and All-Rose Arena teams as the most accomplished student-athletes of those buildings.

These teams will be highlighted before and during halftime of the October 11 homecoming football game against Temple, the ceremonies designed to not only honor the former athletes but to kick off the capital fundraising campaign for the CMU Events Center.

Fans were encouraged to vote online at the Chippewas official athletic site during the month of July to elect individuals to the historic teams.

Mike Burns, Don Edwards, Ben Kelso, Dick Parfitt and Steve Pung were the leading vote-getters for the All-Finch team while Casey Cunningham, Chris Kaman, Dan Majerle, Ben Poquette and Dan Roundfield were the top five tallies on the on the All-Rose team.

According to Sports Information Director Don Helinski, 310 ballots were submitted online. Helinski noted that the department is not releasing the amount of votes the top five athletes received.

“We were looking for ways to really celebrate the great athletic accomplishments that have happened in Finch and Rose as we move towards a new, single event center that will house all of our sports teams,” Athletic Director Dave Heeke said.

The festivities will begin on homecoming Saturday with an invitation-only CMU Events Center Prelude prior to the football game.

“It’s going to be a big tailgate event,” stated Heeke.

During halftime, the players will be honored with an on-the-field ceremony in front of the Chippewa faithful.

Although all former players and their families were invited to participate in the weekend of homecoming activities, there is no word on the number that will attend.

Associate Athletic Director Jay Lanctot believes that while the fundraising is helpful, the ceremony will be a celebration of Central athletics.

“We want to emphasize just how proud we are of our past in terms of our athletes and their achievements and what they have done for our athletics,” Lanctot said.

The event will attempt to bring the past and present together, celebrating past achievements while looking at the current state of CMU athletics with an eye to the future, the CMU Events Center, embodying the campaign’s slogan:

“A proud past, a promising future.”

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