By John Antonik for WVUsports.com
April 18, 2012 11:02 AM
West Virginia University Varsity Club Director Dale Wolfley expects more than 200 former Mountaineer football players will be on campus for this weekend’s Gold-Blue Spring Game, presented by Kroger’s.
Wolfley said players from the 1940s all the way to the present will be on hand this Saturday. Among those committed to take part in this weekend’s festivities include: Aaron Beasley, Rich Braham, David Grant, Barrett Green, Major Harris, Ken Herock, Jake Kelchner, John Mallory, Rasheed Marshall, Dan Mozes, Bo Orlando, Owen Schmitt, John Thornton, Grant Wiley, Quincy Wilson, Fred Wyant and many others.
“Including guests, we’re going to have a total group of about 300 this weekend,” Wolfley said.
Some of the players will participate in the annual old-timer’s game prior to the spring game, although Wolfley won’t have a final list of players until later in the week.
“They are all going to be on the sidelines with either the gold team or the blue team. Some people will play, some won’t, and we’re going to have (former coach) Don Nehlen coaching one team and (retiring coach/administrator) Donnie Young coaching the other.”
The Varsity Club is planning to celebrate the outstanding career of Donnie Young with a halftime recognition ceremony and then a reception inside the Touchdown Terrace. Young was a Mountaineer player in the early 1960s for Coach Gene Corum, and later worked for six different coaches from 1970-2012.
“After 46 years as a player, as a coach and as an administrator, Coach Young is finally retiring,” said Wolfley. “Forty six years at one place is pretty impressive when you consider all of the players’ lives he has touched through the years. Coach Young has been a guy who has always been here. You go all the way back to the 1960s and all of those guys know Donnie Young so that is quite a feat.”
Wolfley says the players will be pretty busy throughout the weekend with various activities planned.
“Friday night we will have a private reception for the players at Kegler’s II. Then on Saturday from 11-1, we’re going to have a brunch for the players at The Varsity Club across the street from the stadium,” Wolfley said. “(Former player) Ernie Anderson is putting that on.
“Then, the neat thing is we’re going over to the stadium at 1 o’clock and we’re going to have the former players meet with the coaching staff and Coach Holgorsen to let them get to know our coaches,” Wolfley added. “We call it ‘The Open House’ and Coach Hologorsen has really embraced this. Then at 3 o’clock we’re going to go back to the Varsity Club tent and take part in the Fan Festival. There will be a concert going on (Taylor Made) as well as the Big 12 tent where players will be scattered throughout the stadium.
Wolfley said former players will be available for autographs at the Fan Festival and there will be other opportunities throughout the day for fans to interact with their favorite former players as well.
“If fans see one of our former players with a t-shirt on be sure to say hello to them,” Wolfley advised. “The players come back and what they really love is interacting with the fans. To some guys, this is like a vacation or a chance to come back and relive their great experiences at WVU.”
The old-timer’s game will begin at 5:30 p.m. and the Gold-Blue Spring Game is scheduled to get underway at 6 p.m.
Tickets are still available and can be purchased online by logging on to WVUGAME.com
. Fans are advised to select the “Print at Home Method” to avoid long lines at the ticket gate on Saturday.
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