Community gathers to meet Racers

Above, defensive line coach Freddie Roach observes a training drill. Top right, Freshman Dayshaun Matlock runs a drill with a young Racer fan. Bottom right, Junior Duane Brady and Roach offer advice as a young player completes an exercise. ||Kirstin Allen//The News

Above, defensive line coach Freddie Roach observes a training drill. Top right, Freshman Dayshaun Matlock runs a drill with a young Racer fan.
Bottom right, Junior Duane Brady and Roach offer advice as a young player completes an exercise. ||Kirstin Allen//The News

Saturday marked the third annual Racer Football Meet and Greet at Roy Stewart Stadium, a community outreach event hosted by the Racer football team.

Crowds showed up as early as 10 a.m. to meet their favorite players, get autographs and bring their children to compete in the youth clinic.

Country music filled the stadium while players threw footballs with children and parents alike, connecting with each fan. The clinic featured scrimmage games, inflatables for tackling and other activies.

“It’s a good day for the community to come out and meet our players,” Head Coach Chris Hatcher said. “It gives youngsters an opportunity to learn some football skills and just have a good time.

Hatcher said it is important to help the children in the community develop an interest in Murray State.

“Hopefully, by the end of the day, we’ll have a few of these youngsters wanting to grow up and be Racers,” he said.

Alongside the football team, Racer One made her first appearance of the fall season.

“Racer One is such an important tradition,” Gary Atkerson, stableman for Racer One, said. “It was important to bring her out here today to see fans. We’re also planning on making more appearances at soccer and baseball games. She’s a very social mare, and people love her.”

Horse and rider walked alongside the track and posed for pictures with fans young and old.

On the sidelines and around the track, the Racer Girls and Cheerleading squad were in uniform.

“We were going to come and just hang around and have a good time.” Senior Racer Girls captain Kaitlin Cash said. “We’re also going to talk to some fans and take photos. It’s important for us to get in touch with the community and get kids involved in our program and Racer athletics.”

This year was the most successful for the meet and greet, with the largest turnout in the history of the event.

After the clinic ended, the seniors signed autographs for everyone. Free food and drinks were available as well.

“It’s so exciting to see everyone here,” Cash said. “We have a great community that supports us.”

Story by Carly Besser, staff writer