The support of a loving and caring family is a luxury…perhaps one we sometimes take for granted when times are good.
When we’re in the midst of a struggle and a building process toward something greater, family becomes an essential support system.
Saturday, Sept. 25, is Family Day at Arkansas Tech University. For the coaches who are working to move the Wonder Boys football program to the top of the Great American Conference, family is a big part of what lifts their spirits when the outcome on the scoreboard fails to do so.
“I’m trying to do a better job of including our daughter, Emmie, in more of our program,” said Kyle Shipp, ATU head football coach, when asked about the role of family. “She comes to practice quite often and last week during pre-game I let her come on the field with me. We don’t have many years with our children, and I want them to be meaningful. Family will always be very important in our culture here at Arkansas Tech football.”
The Wonder Boys (0-3) will host the University of Arkansas-Monticello Boll Weevils (1-2) for the 2021 ATU Family Day game. Kickoff is set for 6 p.m. at Thone Stadium at Buerkle Field. Party at the Plaza tailgating on the Crabaugh Hall lawn starts at 3 p.m. Pre-game coverage on KCJC 102.3 FM and www.arkansastechsports.com will begin at 5:30 p.m.
Containing UAM quarterback Demilon Brown will be the defensive key for Arkansas Tech. Brown has accounted for 79 percent of the Boll Weevils’ total offensive yardage this season.
“Demilon is an extremely athletic young man,” said Shipp, who served as offensive coordinator at UAM for five years before coming home to ATU in 2019. “I’ve been really impressed to see how he has developed as a passer over the past year. Everyone always knew he could run the ball, but now he’s throwing the ball accurately down the field.”
The three teams the Wonder Boys have faced so far this season --- Southeastern Oklahoma State University, East Central University and Ouachita Baptist University --- have a combined record of 8-1. As Arkansas Tech continues to improve and enters what appears to be a more favorable two-week stretch in its schedule, it feels like Emmie and the rest of the Shipp family will be celebrating a victory sooner rather than later.
Talk to you on the radio.
Tech Tidbits is a column written by Sam Strasner, ATU director of university relations and radio play-by-play voice for ATU football and basketball.