Hundreds Turn Out For Raider Rally

April 08, 2010

Several hundred faithful Mount Union football fans braved the winter elements and turned out to celebrate the Purple Raiders' 2006 Division III National Championship at the Raider Recognition Rally, presented by the Alliance Area Chamber of Commerce and Mount Union College in the College's Hoover-Price Campus Center, Tuesday evening, January 30.

Hundreds of fans lined the hallways of the Hoover-Price Campus Center for autographs from players and coaches. Fans also had the opportunity to purchase National Championship memorabilia and were among the first to see the 2006 highlight video 'It's Hard Work.'

Following the autograph signing, fans joined for a short banquet honoring the players and coaches who produced the College's ninth football National Title in the last 14 years ('93, '96, '97, '98, '00, '01, '02, '05, '06). Harry Paidas, vice president for public affairs and marketing, served as emcee. Players, coaches and members of the Alliance community were given the opportunity to share their thoughts as well.

Toni Middleton, mayor of Alliance, read a proclamation for City Council that congratulated the members of the 2006 football team. 'You have won the adoration of a caring Alliance community and you have truly won it all,' he said.

Among the accolades of the season was praise for the fans, coming from the four players who spoke at the rally ' senior defensive end Justin Stickley, senior quarterback Mike Jorris, senior offensive lineman Jason Lewis and senior cornerback Ryan Fehl.

'This night is really about all of you and the fine job you do in supporting this football program,' said Stickley. 'As players, I don't think we can thank you enough.'

Dr. Richard Giese, president of the College, echoed those same sentiments.

'Thanks to all of you for supporting the Purple Raiders as you do,' he said. 'The crowd in Salem, VA was outstanding and as I have traveled to various cities for alumni functions, I believe we had hundreds if not thousands of people attending Stagg Bowl parties watching Mount Union on ESPN.'

The Purple Raider football team will open the 2007 season at home against Averett University on September 1.

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