Family Day Schedule Adjusted Due to Rain

Forecasts of heavy rain in the Russellville area have led Arkansas Tech University to cancel Party at the Plaza, the pre-game tailgating celebration outside Thone Stadium at Buerkle Field, on Saturday, Sept. 22.

As a result, the Family Day meal will take place beginning at 3 p.m. Saturday in the W.O. Young Building Ballroom, which is located at 205 West O Street in Russellville. Current ATU students, their parents and their families are invited to the meal. There will be 500 free meal tickets available to parents, family members and ATU students without meal plans.

Representatives from the ATU Division of Student Affairs will also distribute 500 free ATU-Southern Nazarene University football game tickets to parents and family during the Family Day meal in Young Ballroom.

The game remains on schedule for a 6 p.m. kickoff on Saturday at Thone Stadium at Buerkle Field. Any remaining free game tickets will be available for parents and family members beginning at 5:15 p.m. at the main entrance to the football stadium.

Personnel representing the ATU Alumni Association will be present at the Family Day meal in Young Ballroom to provide students and their families with information about future events such as Homecoming.

Additional Family Day events that will go on as planned on Saturday, Sept. 22, include:

  • Jazz Brunch, 9-11 a.m., Chambers Cafeteria (open to ATU students and their families)
  • Barnes and Noble College Arkansas Tech Bookstore open, 9 a.m.-5 p.m., Young Building
  • ATU Museum open, 10 a.m.-3 p.m., Techionery (all invited; admission free)
  • Football Alumni Weekend, 11:30 a.m., Lake Point Conference Center
  • Band and Choir Concert, 2 p.m., Tucker Coliseum (all invited; admission free)

For more information about ATU Family Day 2018, call (479) 968-0276.

Wonder Boys Return Home to Host SNU

There’s no mistaking the fact that Arkansas Tech University has dominated its all-time football series with Southern Nazarene University.

The Wonder Boys (1-2) will seek to continue that trend when they host the Crimson Storm (1-2) for a 6 p.m. Great American Conference contest at Thone Stadium at Buerkle Field in Russellville on Saturday, Sept. 22.

It will be Family Day at ATU. Game tickets ($10 adults/$5 students and senior citizens) will be available at the stadium ticket office on game day. Those with a valid ATU identification card will be admitted free of charge.

Arkansas Tech is 5-0 all-time against Southern Nazarene. The Wonder Boys have outscored the Crimson Storm 243-35 in those meetings, including a combined margin of 98-0 during contests in 2016 and 2017.

A similar outcome in 2018 might be dependent upon Tech’s performance in one particular phase of the game.

“The thing I want to see us do a better job of is special teams,” said Raymond Monica, ATU head coach. “Southern Nazarene has very good special teams. We have to do a better job kicking the football when it comes down to field goal situations and we have to do a better job of covering punts. We can’t let them flip field position in the punting game. I just want us to be sound, play extremely hard and play disciplined.”

The great unknown for the Wonder Boys is which Southern Nazarene team they will see.

The Crimson Storm opened the season with a 35-0 loss to Southeastern Oklahoma State University and they dropped a 42-0 decision to Harding University in week three. In between, SNU quarterback Jacob Spady rushed for 129 yards to lead Southern Nazarene to a 45-20 victory over East Central University.

“(SNU) does so many things on offense,” said Monica. “You could say it is a wing T, speed sweep offense with a lot of misdirection. The quarterback is going to run the football a good bit, and I know he’s also going to try to stretch the field with some big plays throwing the football. There’s a lot of work at hand to try to stop this offense. It is unconventional, but our players have prepared well.”

Defensive performance in key moments helped the Wonder Boys earn their first win of the season last week. Tech limited Oklahoma Baptist University to one touchdown in five red zone scoring opportunities and the Wonder Boys collected their first victory in Shawnee, Okla., since 1930 by defeating the Bison 31-7.

“I thought our defense played great red zone defense,” said Monica. “We were able to either stop them or get some turnovers. In the first half, I thought our offense did a great job executing. I felt like we left some points off the scoreboard during the game, but I was very proud of the team for going on the road and winning a game. That’s never easy.”

Arkansas Tech quarterback Carter Burcham accounted for three touchdowns in the victory. He also rushed for 99 yards, the majority of which came on read option plays.

Monica said that extra element in the running game gives the opposing defense one more possibility to consider.

“Whatever you’re doing on defense, you’ve got to make sure you are accounting for the quarterback,” said Monica. “We had some good quarterback reads and Carter did a good job running the football. (Halfback) Chris Eastburn is on that edge a lot of times either checking a linebacker or going into the secondary, and he did a good job blocking.”

Radio station KCJC 102.3 FM and www.arkansastechsports.com will provide live coverage of the ATU-SNU game on Saturday.

Tech Adds New Event to Family Day Tradition

Editor’s Note: Forecasts of rain caused Arkansas Tech University to make several changes to its Family Day 2018 schedule. Click here for the latest information. The information below has also been updated. 

One of Arkansas Tech University’s oldest traditions will gain a new feature in 2018.

A combined concert by ATU instrumental and choral music students is on the schedule of events for Family Day 2018, which will take place on the Russellville campus on Saturday, Sept. 22.

The concert will begin at 2 p.m. in John E. Tucker Coliseum. Performance groups scheduled to perform include the ATU Marching Band, the ATU University Singers and Choral Artists and the ATU Symphonic Wind Ensemble. Admission will be free and open to the public. Production, lighting, video and sound will be provided by Larry Roberts of Red Bea Productions.

Originally known as Dad’s Day, Family Day has been part of the annual calendar at Arkansas Tech since 1924.

ATU Family Day 2018 will begin with the seventh annual Family Day Jazz Brunch at Chambers Cafeteria from 9-11 a.m. Entertainment will be provided by the Arkansas Tech Jazz Ensemble and the Arkansas Tech Music Theatre Workshop. The event is free and open to all Arkansas Tech students and their families.

The Barnes and Noble College Arkansas Tech Bookstore will be open inside the W.O. Young Building from 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Tech students and their families will have an opportunity to learn about the history of the institution in the Arkansas Tech Museum at the Techionery from 10 a.m.-3 p.m.

There will be a Family Day meal in the W.O. Young Building Ballroom at 3 p.m. Saturday.

Current ATU students, their parents and their families are invited to the meal. There will be 500 free meal tickets available to parents, family members and ATU students without meal plans.

Representatives from the ATU Division of Student Affairs will also distribute 500 free ATU-Southern Nazarene University football game tickets to parents and family during the Family Day meal in Young Ballroom. Any remaining free game tickets will be available for parents and family members beginning at 5:15 p.m. at the main entrance to the football stadium.

Kickoff for a Great American Conference football game between ATU and SNU is set for 6 p.m. Tickets ($10 adults/$5 students and senior citizens) will be available at the Thone Stadium at Buerkle Field ticket office. Those with a valid ATU identification card will be admitted to the game free of charge.

For more information about ATU Family Day 2018, call (479) 968-0276.

Classical Guitar Series Continues Thursday

Isaac Bustos, head of guitar studies in the Texas A&M University Department of Performance Studies, will perform the 2018 John and Trudy Watson Classical Guitar Series concert at Arkansas Tech University on Thursday, Sept. 20.

The performance will begin at 7:30 p.m. in Witherspoon Auditorium, 407 West Q Street in Russellville. Admission will be free and open to the public.

A seven-time top prize winner in international guitar competitions, Bustos holds a Bachelor of Music degree in guitar performance from the University of New Hampshire, where he was the first guitarist to ever hold a full scholarship. He also earned a Master of Music degree and Doctor of Musical Arts degree from the University of Texas at Austin.

Bustos is artistic director of the Texas A&M International Guitar Symposium and Competition. He is also director of the Houston Guitar Project and the Houston Classical Guitar Workshop.

His chamber music collaborations have included performances with the Grammy Award-winning Los Angeles Guitar Quartet, the Grammy Award-winning Conspirare Choir, the Turtle Creek Chorale and noted Mexican cellist Carlos Prieto. Bustos is also a founding member of the award-winning Texas Guitar Quartet.

The annual classical guitar concert at ATU is made possible through the generosity of Dr. John W. Watson, distinguished professor of mathematics and former vice president for academic affairs at ATU, and his wife, Trudy.

Those wishing to provide additional support for the series may do so with gifts to the Arkansas Tech University Foundation by calling (479) 968-0400.

Learn more about Isaac Bustos.

Reasnor Earns D2CCA Scholar-Athlete Award

Arkansas Tech University’s Ty Reasnor is the 2018 D2CCA Central Region Scholar-Athlete of the Year.

The honor was announced on Monday, Sept. 17, by the D2CCA, a national organization for individuals who serve as commissioners of NCAA Division II conferences, and the National Association of Collegiate Directors of Athletics.

A two-year member of the Wonder Boys football program and a mechanical engineering major, Reasnor was the starting quarterback for a Wonder Boys football team that compiled an 8-4 overall record in 2017. Tech finished tied for second in the Great American Conference standings and earned a berth in the 2017 Agent Barry Live United Bowl under the direction of head coach Raymond Monica.

He completed 203-of-326 pass attempts for 2,483 yards with 21 touchdown passes and five interceptions during fall 2017. His 62.3 percent completion rate is the highest single-season completion percentage in ATU football history.

A product of Cashion, Okla., Reasnor’s accuracy in 2017 was further underscored by the fact that he went 213 consecutive pass attempts without an interception at one point during the season.

His 2017 figures also placed him among Tech’s all-time, single-season leaders in touchdown passes (4th) passing yardage (5th).

Reasnor’s community service has included projects such as Tim Tebow’s Night to Shine, Arkansas Children’s Foundation Freezin 4 A Reason 5K and Mercy Hospital Fort Smith Marathon Volunteer.

He served as a weekly volunteer at Eugene J. Towbin Veterans Hospital and on the search committee for the ATU College of Engineering and Applied Sciences dean.

Reasnor was selected by the College Sports Information Directors of America (CoSIDA) as the 2017 Academic All-America of the Year for NCAA Division II, he was chosen as the 2017-18 GAC male scholar-athlete of the year and he was named the winner of the 2018 John Tucker Award as the top senior male student-athlete at ATU.

He will graduate from ATU in December 2018.