Bowling Green, Ky. — While the Western Kentucky University football team did not take part in an on-field activities on Sunday, the team did spend part of their morning helping the newest members of the WKU community get settled into their new homes.
Carrying everything from clothes to televisions, Hilltopper players and coaches were stationed around campus to aid new freshman involved in the M.A.S.T.E.R Plan program move into their dorm rooms.
"This is something we think is important. We want to have a connection with our student body, and there’s no better way to do that than starting early when they first move in,” said sixth-year head coach David Elson. “It’s important that they realize that our players are normal young people just like they are. It’s important for us to help them out, and in turn our students help us by supporting us on game day.”
That notion becomes even more important starting in 2008 with the renovations to Houchens Industries-L.T. Smith Stadium. Thanks to the reseating process, WKU student will now occupy the lower level of the east grandstands, a move that the Toppers hope will give them a distinct home-field advantage.
“I think the most important part of our gameday experience is having a student section that is packed,” said Elson. “This off season we’ve met with the Greek and student organizations to let them know just how important they are to us — and that’s evident partly by the improved seating they have in the stadium.”
Today’s activities were just another example of the Hilltoppers’ effort to connect with the both the WKU and Bowling Green communities. Last month, Topper players went door-to-door selling season tickets for the 2008 campaign.
“As we continue to build and grow, these are things we are going to continue to do. It all comes down to people in relationships. People are going to support people they know. And when it’s good guys like we’ve got, it makes it easier for the people of Bowling Green and the students at WKU to want to come out and support us — these are the type of things that build those relationships.”
The Hilltoppers will return to the practice field on Monday, as they are now less than two weeks away from opening the 90th season of WKU Football at Indiana on Aug. 30. WKU will play its first home game in its renovated stadium on Sept. 20 at 6 p.m. (CDT) against Murray State.