UM previews basketball teams, new mascot at Midnight MadnessPublished 10:42pm Thursday, October 17, 2013
By DREW GRANTHUM/Sports Writer
MONTEVALLO — The Falcons have landed.
On Oct. 17, the University of Montevallo athletic department held Midnight Madness, a preview for the 2013-2014 men’s and women’s basketball teams. It also featured the debut of the newest Freddie the Falcon mascot costume.
The festivities started with a cookout at 5:30 outside the Student Activity Center on the Montevallo campus, after which fans moved inside.
While waiting for the event to begin, fans were treated to giveaways consisting of rally towels and T-shirts as well as a raffle ticket for a chance to win a laptop and a $1,000 tuition stipend.
Fans packed the stands not only to catch the squads, but also to be on hand for Freddie’s first appearance.
“I’ve never been to Midnight Madness,” said Emilee Harris, a senior at UM. “I (was) really excited to see what it’s all about (and) also to see Freddie the Falcon.”
A relay race involving students followed, as well a raffle drawing in which student Marcus Moore was selected to take a shot from half court for the tuition stipend.
After Moore’s shot fell short, the cheerleaders was introduced.
Following a cheer routine, the crowd’s attention was called to the far corner of the arena. The player’s entrance from the locker room was enveloped in smoke from a machine, as Freddie came running out to cheers.
After another cheer routine, this time involving Freddie, the UM women’s basketball team was introduced and played a quick five-minute intrasquad scrimmage.
Following the scrimmage, a raffle draw for a Dell laptop and a four-legged race involving students were held, and after the race, the men’s team took to the court.
The men’s scrimmage saw the squad divided into two teams and play a five-minute game, featuring wild passes and several dunks — much to the delight of the crowd. Midnight Madness ended with Freddie the Falcon posting in the SAC lobby for photos with the crowd.
Montevallo Athletic Director Jim Herlihy said the event was put on not only to celebrate the upcoming basketball season, but to reach out to fans of the program.
“We’ve done this the last couple of years,” he said. “It’s a great way to introduce the student body to our basketball teams. It’s exciting that people have fun coming out to the games on campus. We try to make every game as fun as possible for the student body, and put a good product on the court. Win or lose, we hope people have a good time.”