Mountaineer Mantrip to Debut


By Shannon McNamara for WVUsports.com
August 28, 2011 12:54 PM
MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – The inaugural West Virginia football Mountaineer Mantrip, a team walk set to rally WVU fans before each home game this season, will make its debut on Sunday, Sept. 4, prior to the No. 24-ranked Mountaineers’ 2011 season opener against Marshall at 3:30 p.m. at Milan Puskar Stadium.

The walk, a nod to the state’s proud coal industry and heritage, will begin when the team is dropped off approximately 2 hours and 20 minutes before kickoff at the corner of the WVU Medical Center and Don Nehlen Drive. Fans are encouraged to line the path, which will take the team and coaching staff, led by head coach Dana Holgorsen, through the blue and light blue lots and to the entrance of the Northeast gate at Milan Puskar Stadium. The team will be escorted by the Mountaineer mascot, the cheerleading squad and members of the Pride of West Virginia, the WVU marching band, on its route.

“I am really looking forward to starting this new tradition. I think this will become a fan favorite, and another game day activity that our fans will look forward to each week,” Holgorsen says. “Team walks like this are popular around college campuses, and I know our fans will make this something special for our players before each home game.”

“I give Dana a lot of credit in helping to get this new tradition started,” Director of Athletics Oliver Luck says. “He spent a lot of time this summer traveling throughout West Virginia and getting to know this state and its great people. He asked questions and he listened, and I believe he has a great understanding of how important the coal industry is.”

Following the team’s arrival at the stadium, the squad will walk down to the field, where they will stop for a team gathering on the 50-yard line before proceeding into the locker room.

“The Mountaineer Mantrip is great way to bring the football team to its fans and pay homage to the legacy of the state,” says WVU marketing director Matt Wells. “It is everyone’s hope that this walk becomes a valued tradition.”

The Mantrip, named after the shuttle that typically transports miners down into an underground mine at the start of their shift, will take place before every home game this season.

“The mantrip symbolizes the work ethic of our state and how folks go to work every day,” adds Luck. “This is the same work ethic that we want our teams to display here at WVU in honor of our fans. Miners take the mantrip into work every day, and our football team will use this mantrip walk to go to work while honoring the coal industry as well as the hardest working state in the country.

“The mantrip also is a great way for our players to get involved with our fans and understand the passion, excitement and support that goes into a Mountaineer home game," Luck says. "In the past, our football team got off the bus and went into the locker room. With this new tradition, the players will get off the bus and be with our fans, and I really like that concept.”

West Virginia-based country band Taylor Made will kickoff the first Mountaineer Mantrip, performing along the path prior to the team’s arrival and also after the walk.

Tags
Dana Holgorsen, Mountaineer Mantrip, Mountaineer football, West Virginia University Mountaineers


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