Opening Leg of Tailgate Tour a Success
CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa – The 2008 Cyclone Tailgate Tour opened with a bang in Cedar Rapids on Wednesday evening as more than 1,700 Cyclone fans gathered at Lindale Mall for the opening leg of the second annual tour. Iowa State athletics director Jamie Pollard opened the event by bringing the children in the crowd to the front and joining them in the proclamation that this is a “Cyclone State.”
“The most important people to us are the children because they are our future,” said Pollard. “I want you all to go back to your parents, give them a hug and thank them for raising you as a Cyclone.”
The children received a goodie bag from the spirit squad and Pollard announced that all Lil’ Clone Club members will be able to go on the field and form the tunnel as the football team enters the field for the Kent State game.
Pollard praised the crowd, which for the second year set the bar high for the tour.
“Last year, you set the benchmark at this site because you showed what it means to be a member of the Cyclone family.”
The Cyclones were represented at the event by numerous head coaches and staff. The group included head football coach Gene Chizik, men’s basketball coach Greg McDermott, women’s basketball coach Bill Fennely, wrestling coach Cael Sanderson, volleyball coach Christy Johnson, soccer coach Wendy Dillinger and tennis coach Michelle Conlon.
The ISU contingent visited the Boys’ and Girls’ Club of Cedar Rapids prior to heading to mall for the second time in as many years.
The event featured interactive games and inflatable attractions for children, auctions and the opportunity to purchase Cyclone merchandise. Fans also had a chance to get a first-hand glimpse of the new football jerseys as well as the opportunity to pose for pictures with the Hy-Vee Cy-Hawk Trophy and the Big 12 Wrestling Championship Trophy.
The evening also included the opportunity to meet a number of ISU student-athletes, including football players Ben Lamaak, Austen Arnaud, Zac Sandvig, Alex Sandvig, Matt Hulbert and Mike O’Connell. Bryan Petersen, Lucca Staiger and Alex Thompson represented the men’s basketball team at the tailgate. Cedar Rapids native and ISU volleyballer Rachel Williams also mingled with the crowd, which lined up to get autographs and meet the student-athletes and coaches.
The Cyclone Tailgate Tour continues Thursday as it hits the Quad Cities. The party of Iowa State coaches, Cy and athletics department staff will visit Hayes Elementary School, the Handicapped Center and the Friendly House in Davenport before heading to Mel Foster Realty, 2300 Spruce Hills Drive, Cumberland Square in Bettendorf. The location was altered after flooding on the Davenport riverfront. ISU student-athletes and the spirit squad will meet the coaches and staff at Mel Foster Realty for the 5 p.m. tailgate event.