Homecoming "the most wonderful time of the year" on Tech campus

COOKEVILLE, Tenn. -- No arguments with Andy Williams about what he calls "the most wonderful time of the year."

Around the Upper Cumberland, and especially on the Tennessee Tech campus, there is another time that many consider to be among the most wonderful times each year -- Homecoming at Tennessee Tech.

Tech football fans are all set to celebrate Homecoming 2008, and the weather -- rainy on Friday -- is expected to cooperate for a beautiful fall day in Cookeville on Saturday. Temps are expected near 60 with mostly sunny skies.

The day's festivities begin with the annual Homecoming Parade at 10:30 a.m., with Golden Eagle basketball coaches Amy Brown and Mike Sutton serving as Grand Marshalls.

Regions Bank Tailgate Park also opens at 10:30 a.m., with activities leading up to kickoff at 1:30 p.m. in Tucker Stadium.

Over at Eblen Center, the men's basketball team will hold a scrimmage at 11:15 a.m. which is free and open to the public.

A number of special events will also take place during the football game. On the field prior to kickoff (approximately 1:10 p.m.), Tech will honor the 2007 Robert Hill Johnson Award winners, Larry Shipp and Derek White.

After the first quarter, women's golfer Melody Moore will be recognized as the Wendy's Scholar-Athlete of the Game.

At halftime, two special presentations will take place. First, Tech will honor the five people who will be inducted Friday night into the TTU Sports Hall of Fame -- Chris Hedman, Mark Maberry, John "Shakey" McClellan, Rachel Melchiorre and Tom Pack.

Right after that, the 2008 OVC women's cross country individual champion and Athlete of the Year, Stephanie Place, will be introduced for recognition.

In and around all of that, the Golden Eagle football team faces a stiff challenge when it hosts the Jacksonville State Gamecocks in an Ohio Valley Conference game.

Tickets for the Hall of Fame Dinner and the football game are on sale at the Athletics Ticket Office in Eblen Center, or by calling (931) 372-3940.